Let the Jersey Shore Rebuilding Begin
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has issued an emergency order adopting tough new standards for rebuilding that dictates to municipalities and homeowners how high houses and buildings will need to be as well as how they are constructed.
Those new standards are the Federal Emergency Management Administration's Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps released by the federal government in December. Rather than wait to see if those are the recommendations are adopted by FEMA, the Governor's emergency order allows the Jersey Shore rebuilding effort to begin using those standards.
The regulations about how high homes must be also dictates how the homes must be constructed. The order uses the Flood Hazard Area Control Act to rebuild New Jersey, instead of building codes that vary from town to town.
The Governor said raising the base flood elevation levels is necessary to keep flood insurance rates down and minimize future property damage. If FEMA adopts the current advisory maps, and homeowners don't comply their flood insurance could be in the tens of thousands annually.
Flood insurance rates have already increased, but not because of Super Storm Sandy. This increase was needed because new federal regulations demand property owners pay more into the National Flood Insurance Program. Those regulations call for insurance premium increases until the indebted National Flood Insurance Program is self sufficient.
This means flood insurance increases for property owners in all states, not just New Jersey.
The emergency order has been adopted but Flood Hazard Area Control Act amendments will be published in the New Jersey Register on February 9, 2013.