A new map of Westchester’s flood zones released this week shows more local areas with expected flood hazards and more risks for homeowners and business already battered by Hurricane Sandy. The maps are called “Advisory Base Flood Elevations” (ABFEs) and they can be used to help determine flood insurance rates for property owners.
Prior to the storm, FEMA was restudying areas of the New Jersey and New York coastlines to update flood hazards that were developed more than 25 years ago for the National Flood Insurance Program Rate Maps (FIRMs) in these areas.
But the agency now has rushed to update the maps to help support repair and reconstruction work. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “rebuilding using the ABFE information can reduce the vulnerability of your home to flooding and flood damage, potentially decreasing the cost of flood insurance and the cost to recover from future storms and floods.”
To find out what the new ABFE and flood zone are for your property, you can use the ‘What is My ABFE?’ address lookup tool. You enter your address and a short report is created showing the ABFE and Advisory flood zone for your property. For comparison purposes, there’s also information from your community’s effective Flood Insurance Rate Map. Note: FEMA’s flood maps include historical flooding as well as recent surge and storm flooding, but they don’t include flood risks from projected future sea-level rise or other climate change impacts.
To find out more about flood insurance and ABFEs, visit the National Flood Insurance Program or call the Help Center at 1(800)427-4661.