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. In 2011, New Jersey residents were hit by Hurricane Irene, which made landfall near Little Egg Inlet along the southern New Jersey coast on August 28, and was the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since 1903.
And in 2012, Superstorm Sandy targeted New Jersey with high winds, heavy rains
and the most destructive coastal flooding since the Ash Wednesday Nor’easter of 1962.
Rainfall has caused destructive flooding on many waterways, and historic flooding has occurred on some rivers, particularly in the northeast. With all this history of storm activity, why on earth would anyone choose not to purchase NJ flood insurance?
Learn about flood risk and the potential throughout the state
In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. All home and business owners in these areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance. Insurance agents can help assess a homeowner’s risk based on the location of their home.
Make plans for the possibility of an evacuation
- Plan and practice a flood evacuation route, and have someone out of state be the “family contact” in an emergency, and make sure everyone knows the contact’s address and phone number.
- Before evacuating make sure to have a working sump pump and install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Clear any debris from gutters and downspouts and anchor any fuel tanks.
- Conduct a thorough home inventory. Thorough documentation of personal property and belongings will help when filing a flood insurance claim. Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place where they are less likely to get damaged.
- If possible, place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation. Also, raise all electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring) at least 12 inches above the home’s projected flood elevation.
- Build an emergency supply kit, which should include food, bottled water, first aid supplies, medicines and a battery-operated radio. Kit should be checked every few months, replacing any items that may have gone bad (food, batteries, etc.).
Reduce flood risk through home improvements and learn about ways to lower risks of sewer backup, electrical problems, basement flooding and other flood-related issues. Having NJ flood insurance is a wise investment, and solid planning will reduce the likelihood of a major loss.