New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced his state will adopt FEMA’s Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps, requiring residents in flood zones to raise their homes between 1 foot and 5 feet.
“If we wait, all we’re doing is delaying New Jersey’s recovery,” Christie said during a press conference. “I think this is what we need to do to build a 21st century Jersey Shore.”
The move follows damage from Hurricane Sandy.
The advisory maps were released in December. FEMA is expected to adopt the maps as the agency’s new flood insurance maps.
Reports have estimated that property owners with a high-value home in high-hazard flood Zone A could pay up to $31,000 in flood insurance; that premium would drop to $7,000 per year if standard heights are met, and further cuts if built higher.
Property owners might also find it easier – with the map adoption – to receive Increase Cost of Compliance (ICC) funding, which could provide as much as $30,000 to raise a home.
Micaela Isler, assistant vice president for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), said the move is a model for other states.
“All coastal states would benefit by periodically reviewing and updating their respective building codes,” Isler said. “The enactment and enforcement of tough standards for building codes, property development and other loss prevention and mitigation requirements are a key component to long-term natural catastrophe preparation.”