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Open houses scheduled for Bergen residents, business owners to review new FEMA flood risk maps

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

PUBLIC SAFETY: Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco and Bergen County Freeholder Vice Chairman Steve Tanelli have scheduled two open houses next week to inform residents and business owners of FEMA updates to county flood hazard maps.

“Far too many Bergen County families have experienced firsthand the devastating effects of flooding and have had to struggle with getting their lives back in order,” both said in a joint statement. “These two open houses will go a long way toward helping families navigate the process of getting the appropriate information and coverage for their homes and possessions.”

The first open house is next Tuesday, Feb. 10, in the first-floor Multi-Purpose Room at One Bergen Plaza in Hackensack.

The second is the next day, Feb. 11, at the Bergen County Law and Public Safety Institute in Mahwah.

Appointments aren’t necessary to attend the sessions, both of which will run from 4-8 p.m.

“Using interactive flood hazard maps at this Open House, representatives from the State, Bergen County, and FEMA and their mapping partners, will be available to answer flood risk and insurance questions, and explain the preliminary flood hazard maps,” the joint statement says.

“Residents are encouraged to bring their elevation certificates and/or flood insurance policies to the Open House in order to get the best information about how their flood insurance may change as a result of the new preliminary flood maps.”

“The following information will not be available at this event: Disaster-related recovery efforts and outstanding insurance claims,” Tedesco and Tanelli said.

The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates were preliminarily issued to Bergen County and incorporated areas in late August.

Insurance companies use FIRMs to determine flood insurance rates for buildings and their contents, and lenders utilize this information to determine flood insurance requirements.

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You can look up your property’s flood risk with the What’s my BFE tool.

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“Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the United States,” the joint statement says. “It is vital for property owners to understand their risk and should take advantage of tools and programs available to them for help.

“Property owners can take action by purchasing flood insurance and implementing mitigation actions to help reduce future flooding impacts.”

The preliminary FIRMs and associated Flood Insurance Study (FIS) provide the basis for flood risk education and floodplain management measures.

Bergen County is required to adopt updated maps to continue participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which makes flood insurance available to the community.


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