Hurricane Sandy Mitigation Resources

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Hazard Mitigation

What is Mitigation?
Where and how can I find information on Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) Maps?
What is Mitigation Planning?
Where do I find out about the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)?
What is the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)?
What is "Biggert-Waters" and where can I get more information?
Are there NFIP Publications available?
How do I rebuild Safer, Smarter, Stronger?
Are there any Best Practice stories or examples of homes that survived Sandy?


Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation is taking action now—before the next disaster—to reduce human and financial consequences later (analyzing risk, reducing risk, insuring against risk).  Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices, and invest in long-term community well-being. Without mitigation actions, we jeopardize our safety, financial security, and self-reliance. 


Analyze Risk - Flood Hazard Mapping

ABFE – Advisory Base Flood Elevations

Reflects the best available data to identify the current flood risk.  Although temporary, ABFE maps are based on sound science and engineering, and are derived from more recent data and improved study methodologies compared to the existing Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM).  For New Jersey these maps are available in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union Counties.

To make this information as accessible as possible and to see how these maps may impact you, the ABFE maps may be viewed by a specific address to see the recommendations for rebuilding. In addition there are frequently asked questions and answers and we encourage subscribing to Region 2 ABFE news to receive flood map updates.

All of this information is available on


Reduce Risk

Mitigation Planning

State, Indian Tribal, and local officials develop and adopt mitigation plans to meet the requirements of the Stafford Act. The Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidance provides the official guidance on these requirements and procedures for approval of hazard mitigation plans. The core steps in the graphic below show the process to complete a mitigation plan.

HMGP – Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

HMGP can be used to fund projects to protect either public or private property, as long as the project fits within State and local government mitigation strategies to address areas of risk and complies with HMGP guidelines. 

FEMA provides a variety of hazard mitigation grants to states and communities.  To learn more, see the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Grant Programs Fact Sheet,


Insuring Against Risk

NFIP – National Flood Insurance Program

The NFIP is designed to provide access to affordable, federally backed flood insurance protection for property owners in communities who participate in the NFIP.  These communities agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood risks.

NFIP personnel conduct outreach and education programs on many topics, such as: substantial damage/substantial improvement, increased cost of compliance (ICC), mitigation (which includes elevation, relocation, and demolish/rebuild), and recommended residential construction for coastal areas.

Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, also known as Biggert-Waters, was passed and signed into law in 2012.  It calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the NFIP is run.

For additional information contact:

  • Your local Floodplain Administrator
  • National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Help Center, 1-800-427-4661
  • FloodSmart, 1-888-379-9531 or visit

NFIP Publications:

Answers to Questions about the NFIP - Provides a basic understanding of the NFIP and answers the most common questions.

NFIP Summary of Coverage - Provides general information about deductibles, what is and is not covered by flood insurance, and how items are valued at time of loss.

Flood Insurance Claims Handbook - Provides policyholders tips about what to do before and after a flood, including filing a claim, and the steps involved in appealing a denied claim.

Answers to Questions about Substantially Damaged Buildings - Provides guidance on how to properly determine if a building is substantially damaged in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program regulations.

Increased Cost of Compliance - Provides general overview of ICC for NFIP policy holders.

What You Need to Know about Federal Disaster Assistance and National Flood Insurance


FEMA Building Sciences - Rebuilding Stronger, Safer, Smarter

FEMA has multiple publications and websites with information to help you and communities rebuild to be more resilient and disaster resistant.


FEMA Building Science Resources to Assist with Reconstruction After Sandy - This flyer summarizes a few of the readily available publications and resources that can be used by homeowners during reconstruction following Hurricane Sandy.

Homebuilder's Guide to Coastal Construction - This document is a series of fact sheets to present information aimed at improving the performance of buildings subject to flood and wind forces in coastal environments.

Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting - This guide is for homeowners who want to know how to protect their homes from flooding. As a homeowner, you need clear information about the options available to you and straightforward guidance that will help you make decisions.

Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone Home - Provides examples on elevations.

Protecting Your Home and Property from Flood Damage - Provides ideas for mitigation actions, including installing backflow valves, elevating utilities.

Protecting Building Utilities from Flood Damage - This guide is to assist in the construction of buildings with building utility systems that are designed and built so that the buildings can be re-occupied and fully operational as soon as electricity and sewer and water are restored to the neighborhood.

Wind Retrofit Guide for Residential Buildings - The purpose of this document is to serve as guidance on retrofitting existing buildings for improved performance during high-wind events in all coastal regions.

Hurricane Sandy - Building Science Activities and Resources -

Residential Coastal Construction -

Substantial Improvements/Substantial Damage Desk Reference - This Desk Reference provides practical guidance and suggested procedures to implement the NFIP requirements for SI/SD.

****NEW INFORMATIONAL RESOURCE:  Mitigation Ideas: A Resource for Reducing Risk to Natural Hazards****


Best Practices

FEMA collects Mitigation success stories, encourages the public to share their stories, and to review stories from other residents, it is known as the Best Practice Portfolio.  Here are stories we have collected from Hurricane Sandy so far:

Mantoloking Home Survives Sandy - Taking steps 30 years ago, Mantoloking homeowner elevates his home.  Watch a video with the homeowner as he walks you through his home.

Mitigation of Utilities in Older Home Prevents Damages - discusses an owners use of quick disconnects to avoid damages

Flood Vents, Elevation, and Compliance: Homeowners Protect Their Investment - making the choice to elevate an extra 1 1/2 feet and adding flood vents

Borough of Longport Adopts an Ordinance Designed to Reduce Flood Losses - adopting higher regulatory standards saves a community from damages and saves money

Home Elevation Keeps Sandy at Bay in Monmouth County, New Jersey  - elevation in 2010 saves a home after Sandy in 2012

Building Codes Save Two Sea Bright Homes - choosing to build above current building standards save property owners money.  See a video interview about how a choice during building made the difference during a disaster

Storm-Resistant Measures Saved One Family from a $100,000 Day - elevation during construction makes a difference

Relief When New Jersey Couple Returns Home - investing in the elevation of their recently purchased home makes all the difference

One Community's Efforts to Battle Future Flood Loss - Tuckerton Beach adopts and enforces stricter building codes to prevent future flood losses

Bay Head Elevated Home Undamaged by Sandy Surge - an individual chooses to elevate 2 extra feet and avoids costly damage due to flooding from Hurricane Sandy

Backup Plan Provides Electrical Power for a New Jersey Community - purchasing and using generators, Seaside Heights was able to keep the power on for first responders

Last Updated: 
09/05/2014 - 15:25
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