Posted Tuesday, April 10th, 2018
MAPS ARE KEY TO INSURANCE RATES FOR PROPERTY OWNERS
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 90-day appeal process is underway for the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS) that have been released for properties located in Morris County.
The appeal period runs for just another five weeks, through May 15. If you live in or near a flood zone, you are strongly encouraged to review the maps to see if you are affected, and if you want to appeal.
Flood Hazard Determination Notices have been sent to municipal officials in 37 Morris County towns (there are no FEMA maps for Chester Borough or Mountain Lakes). This is the prime opportunity for residents living in flood zones to have a say in FEMA’s determination.
View digital versions of FEMA maps (with an address search function) at: https://fema.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=16bb8a9ebcac47da913e6e9f4ecf30ab
Hard copies of the FIRMS are available at your municipal building for review in person. FIRMS also can be viewed online or downloaded at the FEMA Map Service Center. Search for your community, look under “Preliminary Products” and download the “Preliminary FIRM Panels.” Contact your municipal engineer for assistance, if needed.
There are online tutorials on help understand the FEMA FIRMS at: https://www.fema.gov/online-tutorials
Once finalized and adopted, these maps will be used to determine if flood insurance is required for your property and the rates that residential and commercial property owners will be required to pay to the National Flood Insurance Program.
The maps also will be utilized when reviewing development plans and enforcing floodplain management regulations.
The flood insurance rate maps currently in effect are 24-45 years old. Given the long-standing impact of the maps, the county encourages municipalities and property owners to take this rare opportunity to review, and if necessary, appeal FEMA’s determinations.
Until the new maps are adopted, the existing ones will remain in effect.
For more information on the adoption process see the county’s Map Adoption webpage.
GET HELP: If you have questions about flood maps or flood insurance, you can use the resources below to speak with a FEMA representative directly. Visit Contacts for the full list of help available.
FEMA Map Information eXchange (1-877-336-2627): General questions about FEMA flood maps, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and LOMC processes;
National Flood Insurance Program Help Center (1-800-427-4661): Questions about existing flood insurance policies and claims;
FloodSmart (1-888-379-9531): General questions about flood insurance
To speak directly to a FEMA map specialist, call 877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627) from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.