Depending on the location of your property within the Borough of Spring Lake, you may be required to have flood insurance. The Borough of Spring Lake participates with the Federal Insurance Agency in the "Community Rating System" which may result in the reduction of Federal flood insurance premiums for all Spring Lake Borough policyholders.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has classified some areas of the Borough of Spring Lake as a special flood hazard area, otherwise known as the 100-Year Flood Plain. As required by FEMA, flood maps have been developed for the Borough of Spring Lake. The maps show flood zones and the predicted elevations that a 100-year storm could reach or exceed. To visit FEMA's site: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/flood/info.shtm
Oceanfront properties are vulnerable to storm damage during severe northeasters and hurricane conditions. Flooding can come with little warning. Even though they appear to move slowly (three feet per second) a flood two feet deep can knock a man off his feet and float a car. Our dunes are considered important. They are our first lines of defense against the onslaught of the incoming seas. Preserving those dunes is of the utmost importance. The Borough of Spring Lake maintains strict standards for dune restoration and preservation. Other properties that are susceptible border on the shores of Wreck Pond, Spring Lake and Lake Como. During the 1992 Northeaster certain streets at the southeast end of town experienced flooding over two feet, which did not completely dissipate for 48 hours.
Approximately fifteen percent of the Borough of Spring Lake homeowners carry Federal flood insurance. Keep in mind that the standard homeowner's insurance policy does not cover flood losses. In the regular Federal flood insurance programs, coverage of up to $185,000 is available for single-family dwellings and up to $250,000 for other residential dwellings. Up to $60,000 contents coverage is available for the above. All homeowners are strongly urged to carry Federal flood insurance. Information on flood insurance may be obtained from your local insurance agent, or call the National Flood Insurance Program at 1-800-638-6620.
The best way to minimize storm damage to your home is to raise it on pilings so that the lowest habitable floor is at or above your base flood elevation. Current cost estimates for this varies from $20,000 to $25,000 and your flood insurance premiums could be significantly reduced. Another approach is to make your walls waterproof and place watertight closures over the doorways. This method is not recommended for houses with basements or if water will get over two feet deep. The inexpensive and easy task of installing flood vents in your home can also reduce storm damage. You may contact Albert Ratz, Jr., Construction Official at 732-449-3252.
The first thing you should do is check your flood hazard. The Spring Lake Library has publications dealing with flood-related topics, such as, flood proofing, elevated structures, flood maps, flood emergency and flood insurance. This information can be helpful if you are in a floodplain or have experienced a flood, drainage or sewer backup problem. You may call the Construction Official, Albert Ratz, Jr. if you have a question or need additional information.
What Can You Do?
Spring Lake depends on your cooperation and assistance. Please remember the Borough of Spring Lake has ordinances, which prohibit the disposal of litter upon any public or private property other than in a litter receptacle. It is also unlawful for a person to sweep into or deposit in any gutter street, catch basis or other public place any accumulation of litter from any public or private sidewalk or driveway.
Always check with the Building Department before you build on, alter, re-grade or fill on your property to ensure that projects do not cause problems on other properties and to ascertain whether a permit is needed for the work.
When severe storms are forecasted for the Borough of Spring Lake, radio stations WADB (95.9 FM) and WJLK (1310 AM-94.3 FM) and Monmouth Cable TV will broadcast emergency information. The AM Alert Radio Station 1640 will operate 24 hours a day and continuously broadcast NOAA weather radio updates. If evacuation is required, the police will use the P.A. systems on all police cars to alert and instruct residents. The Borough of Spring Lake has an Emergency Management Plan, which is under the supervision of OEM Coordinator, James Mullen.
If someone in your home would need to be evacuated by ambulance, please notify the Health Department in advance. In an emergency, contact the Police if the Health Department does not have you on file. Knowing how high your property is above mean sea level will give you an idea how vulnerable your property is to storm damage. Your FLOOD ELEVATION CERTIFICATE, or property survey may have this information.
The Federal Insurance Administration suggests the following action when coastal storms or hurricanes are imminent:
Turn off all electrical power at panel. Some appliances such as television sets, keep electrical charges even after they have been unplugged. Don't use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried.
Close main gas valve. Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don't smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been ventilated. Move household items to the highest level you can including cardboard boxes and newspapers as these materials disintegrate and will clog drains and vents. Keep a full tank of gas in your vehicle(s). Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood killer after drowning is electrocution. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to power company.
If you evacuate your home, here are some essentials you should take:
First Aid Supplies
Supply of Non-Perishable Food
Batteries (Hearing aid, flashlight)
Battery-operated Portable Radio
Dry Clothing - Especially Shoes and Socks
Bank and Check Books
Valuable and Cherished Items
Games for Children and Adults
The ASBURY PARK PRESS reported that eighty percent of those living on the coast had never experienced a hurricane. DON'T BE COMPLACENT. Resolve to make your emergency plans now, and evacuate as soon as you are told.
Albert Ratz, Jr. is the Borough of Spring Lake's "Community Rating System" Coordinator. For further information on this subject, Mr. Ratz may be reached at 732-449-3252.