The 2008 hurricane season is rapidly approaching and New Jersey is no stranger to dangerous storms and damaging floods. Hurricane Ivan crashed ashore in July 2004 and quickly became a category five hurricane. New Jersey residents were hit with intense rains, causing millions of dollars in damages to homes and businesses. Since 2000, New Jersey has experienced five federally declared disasters due to flooding.
New Jersey Flood Facts
(Source: National Flood Insurance Program)
Flooding costs New Jersey. In the past five years, (2003–2008), insured flood losses in New Jersey totaled approximately $266 million.
More New Jersey residents are now flood insured.
Since April 2007, flood insurance policies in New Jersey have increased by 4.6%, to more than 225,000 policies as of April 2008.
However, many New Jersey households remain at risk. There are more than 3 million households in New Jersey (2000 U.S. Census), but just 225,171 insurance policies in effect. Only seven percent of the state’s households are covered.
BE FLOODSMART – REDUCE YOUR RISK
§ Learn your flood risk. Properties that are not located within high-risk areas can also flood. Find out your flood risk right now by entering your address at FloodSmart.gov’s "One-Step Flood Risk Profile." Insurance agents can also help assess your risk.
§ Plan for evacuation. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route, ask someone out of state to be your "family contact" in an emergency and make sure everyone knows the contact’s address and phone number.
§ Move important objects and papers to a safe place. Store your valuables where they can’t get damaged.
§ Conduct a thorough home inventory. Thorough documentation of your belongings will help you file your flood insurance claim. For more information, visit www.knowyourstuff.org.
§ Build an emergency supply kit. Food, bottled water, first aid supplies, medicines and a battery-operated radio should be ready to go when you are. Visit www.ready.gov for a disaster supply checklist.
§ Reduce your flood risk through home improvements. Visit FloodSmart.gov to learn about ways to lower your risk of sewer backup, electrical problems, basement flooding and other flood-related issues.
Talk with your insurance agent about your flood insurance options. If you live in a high-risk area and carry a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender, you are required to purchase a flood insurance policy. If your property is located in a low- to moderate-risk flood zone, you may be eligible for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy, which can start as low as $119 a year.
Visit FloodSmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419 to learn how to prepare for floods, how to purchase a flood insurance policy and the benefits of protecting your property against flooding.
Purchase a flood insurance policy. Most homeowners insurance does not cover floods and there is a 30-day wait before a policy becomes effective. If you already have a flood policy, remember: your policy needs to be renewed each year.