Understanding Jersey Shore Flood Maps and Base Flood Elevation

If you live in the Jersey Shore area, it’s crucial to understand flood maps and your Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Knowing this will help you prepare for potential floods, as well as help you decide what type and how much flood insurance to purchase for your home. Here’s what you should know.

What is Base Flood Elevation (BFE)?

FEMA defines Base Flood Elevation as the elevation to which a flood is anticipated to rise during the base flood. The BFE is basically a baseline pulled together from historic weather date, local topography and the latest science available.

Find Your Flood Zone

If you have no idea what the flood map looks for in your area, FEMA has an easy way to look it up. By going to this website, you can input your address and it will bring up your flood map zones.

Understanding Flood Maps

FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management Agency) works with communities and towns all over the US to identify flood hazards and promote ways to reduce the negative impacts of flooding. The flood maps they provide are for floodplain management and to determine how much flood insurance you’ll need. A flood map will show your community’s flood zones, floodplain boundaries, and your BFE. Together all these factors show the risk of flooding in your particular area.

How to Read Your Flood Map

The areas on your map that FEMA has defined as a flood risk will be highlighted on your map. The terminology and symbols will be labeled on a key in the corner of the map. If you’re having issues reading your map,  FEMA has a great tutorial on their website to help.

The benefits of living in the Jersey Shore area outweigh the negatives, but it’s still important to be prepared. For questions about the home buying process in the Jersey Shore, ask the experts at Riley and Gutman.