Know Your Risk Now to Build Back Stronger, Safer, Smarter

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Release date: 
December 14, 2012
Release Number: 
4086, 059

TRENTON, N.J. — Property and business owners affected by Hurricane Sandy along the New Jersey coast have new guidance for rebuilding stronger, safer and smarter to avoid the consequences of future floods.

The State of New Jersey and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have released Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) maps for 10 coastal counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union. 

ABFE maps are digital renderings of flood hazards maps that provide an updated depiction of flood hazards for communities affected by coastal flooding including those along rivers that are subject to tidal surges. 

To access the new maps, visit and click on the Hurricane Sandy tab.

The advisory maps, which are based upon scientific and engineering assessments of storms like Sandy, will provide communities with recommended building elevations for use in reconstruction until more detailed data becomes available.

With the updated information: 

  • Property owners can understand where flood risks exist and make informed decisions about elevations or about taking other mitigation steps to protect the investment in their property.
  • State and local governments can site and elevate public buildings and facilities and guide new construction.
  • Architects and builders can design better rebuilding and rehabilitation solutions for property owners.

Communities are being encouraged to adopt the ABFEs because they provide a significant opportunity to mitigate their future flood risk. Communities can increase their resiliency against future disasters, and flood insurance policy holders may save on future flood insurance premiums.

Property and business owners should work with local building officials to fully understand any requirements for using ABFEs in rebuilding. Decisions made now can mean a safer, stronger, smarter future.

For information on flood insurance visit, call 888-379-9531 or contact your insurance agent.

Anyone who suffered damages as a result of Hurricane Sandy is encouraged to register with FEMA. Individuals can apply for assistance and follow up on previous applications by visiting  or by smart phones or tablets at By phone or 711/VRS, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585.

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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at,,, and  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Last Updated: 
December 15, 2012 - 14:17
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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