Floods, Storms, & Flood Insurance

Residents & Visitor Information on Floods, Storms & Flood Insurance

This information is being distributed to all homes and businesses located within the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach. It is designated to provide you with necessary information on hurricanes, coastal storms, flood awareness, and preparedness. If you do not occupy your home on a year-round basis, please pass this information along to tenants or family members, or post in a conspicuous area if you have seasonal renters.

The information in this brochure is being provided to you by Construction Official, Michael Gardner, CFM for Point Pleasant Beach. The content has been compiled according to the regulations found in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS) manual covering community outreach programs. The purpose of the CRS program is to provide property owners with information to protect themselves and their properties against flood damage. The likelihood of loss through flooding is substantial in our municipality; however, public education and prudent building practices are our best defenses against catastrophic flood damage. Inquiries regarding local construction regulations and preparedness are always welcome; please feel free to contact the Building Department at 732-892-1118.

Local Flood Hazards

The Borough of Point Pleasant Beach is located on a barrier island. In addition to being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the Manasquan Inlet and River, and the canal; the Borough contains lakes that are tidal in nature; therefore, the entire Borough is subject to flooding. Flood zones in the Borough are designated by FEMA based on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The zones are given letter assignments for identification purposes, and at the present time, the town has three different flood zones: VE, AE, and AO. The most recent FIRM map is dated September 29, 2006. The greatest hazard lies in the potential for hurricanes and Nor'easter storms. These storms traditionally cause erosion of beaches and dunes because of extremely high wind velocity and storm surge. The tremendous movement of water through the inlet causes the levels of the interior lakes to rise and a backup of water in the storm drain system, resulting in flooding. Significant rainfall added to the wind and tide problems increases flood hazard.

Flood Safety/ Flood Warning System

First and foremost, the safety of every person in the Borough is a priority in an emergency situation. Please familiarize yourself with these procedures, safety tips, and evacuation plans. In a storm or flood emergency, there will be a three to five-minute steady sounding of the emergency sirens. Please tune in your radio immediately to one of the following stations:

  • 1630 (AM) Borough Office of Emergency Management Station
  • 1160 WOBM (AM)
  • 1360 WJLK (AM)
  • 92.7 WOBM (FM)
  • 95.9 WADB (FM)
  • 98.5 WJLK (FM)
  • 100.1 WJRZ (FM)

The Police Department and Emergency Management personnel will also go street to street with a public announcement system to insure all persons are aware of the nature of the emergency and announce any mandatory evacuations. In the event that a radio is not available, or you do not hear the emergency announcements, please call the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management Hotline at 732-341-3451.

If a formal notice of evacuation is ordered, it is mandatory and is a law that must be obeyed! This is for your safety, so please cooperate with Police and Emergency Management personnel. If you are unable to evacuate, please contact the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department at 732-892-0500 for assistance.

  • When leaving your home, turn off the gas, water, and electricity, if possible.
  • Please watch your children carefully and do not allow them near flood waters or other hazards.
  • Do not wade through moving floodwaters and stay clear of lake and river banks, beaches, and the inlet.
  • Be very cautious of driving through moving floodwaters and if your vehicle should become disabled in high water, abandon it and move to higher ground or seek assistance.

All families should practice emergency preparedness. During hurricane and storm season you should be prepared for an evacuation by having ready the following {keeping a checklist in a handy location is very helpful}: first aid supplies, flashlights with additional batteries, battery operated radio with additional batteries, supply of drinking water and non-perishable food, a sturdy box (lock box or portable safe) to transport important papers, insurance information, passports, checks, cash, jewelry, photos, etc.: clothing, shoes, and bedding for each person; medications; pets and pet food plus safety equipment for pets (leashes, collars, crates), chargers for cell phones. You may also want to take books, games, or activities. Keep a full tank of gas in your evacuation vehicle, and make sure it is in good running order.

For additional information, go to the following websites:

Evacuation Routes: All evacuating traffic will utilize Route 88 westbound toward Point Pleasant and Brick Township. This route will lead you onto Route 195 westbound in Howell Township. Please follow the directions of the Police and Emergency Personnel who will be guiding autos off the island as orderly and as expediently as possible.

When deemed necessary, all Emergency Personnel will be moved from their various stations off the island. For further information on evacuation routes, please vvisit the State of New Jersey Office of Emergency Management Evacuation Routes page. This will bring up all of the evacuation routes.

Flood Insurance

The Borough of Point Pleasant Beach is enrolled in the Community Rating System. This participation is made possible by the municipality's involvement in executing initiatives designed to reduce flood losses, educate the residents on flood insurance and its importance in floodplain areas, and achieve current and accurate ratings. The floodplain management activities implemented by your Community Floodplain Manager qualify for a 20% discount on the premium cost of flood insurance for NFIP policies issued or renewed in Special Flood Hazard Areas on or after October 1, 2015.

Flood insurance protects dwellings in cases of water damage that is not covered under standard property (or homeowners') insurance policies. This makes flood insurance an important issue for homeowners in flood-prone areas. The following facts concern the present availability of flood insurance.

  1. Flood insurance is required for almost every mortgage issued on homes in flood zones. At the present time, maximum coverage options of $250,000 for a single-family dwelling and $100,000 for contents are available.
  2. If you are insuring your principal residence (you must live here at least 80% of the calendar year preceding a loss) coverage will apply on a replacement cost basis, provided your policy limit is equal to 80% of the full replacement cost, or you have the maximum $250,000 coverage that is currently available.
  3. If you are purchasing a new home, there is no waiting period applicable to the purchase of flood insurance. For new applications on homes not being acquired through sale, there is a thirty-day waiting period.
  4. "Grandfather" rates on flood policies can be transferred from seller to buyer on a continuous coverage basis. If a seller cancels his policy and the buyer must obtain a new policy, then rates may be increased.

Homeowners in Point Pleasant Beach will receive a discounted premium on their flood policies due to the Borough's participation in the CRS program.

More information can be obtained online by visiting the Floodsmart website.

Property Protection

New construction and substantially improved properties have elevation certificates and have been constructed with flood protection in mind. Homeowners can take measures to protect their property from flood damage and include the following: elevating the home, improving the grading of yards, or correcting drainage problems. Wind damage can be reduced by installing storm shutters and reinforced garage doors.

Property owners should have a plan to protect the home in cases where time permits preparation. These steps include moving essentials and furniture to higher levels in the home, covering windows and glass expanses with plywood and plastic sheeting, bringing in all outdoor furniture, décor, and garbage cans, sandbagging around the home, turning off electrical power, main gas valve and water main, and remove anything that may disintegrate and clog drains or vents (paper, cardboard, etc.)

The CRS program does recognize "retrofitting" as a method by which homeowners can reduce damage due to flooding. The five techniques that are specifically recommended include

  1. Elevation of the structure above the base flood elevation
  2. Construction of a barrier between the home and the source of potential flooding
  3. Dry flood-proofing, or sealing of a building to keep floodwater out
  4. Wet flood-proofing, or construction that allows water to flow below the first floor of the structure (no items of value can be located in this area)
  5. Basement protection to prevent flooding from a sewer backup or sump pump failure.

More information can be found in Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting: Six Ways to Protect Your House from Flooding. Copies are in the Point Pleasant Beach Public Library.

Contact the Building Department for specifics on retrofitting existing structures to protect them from flood damage.

Our Local Floodplain-the Natural & Beneficial Functions

Point Pleasant Beach is located on a coastal island with unique geography and ecological composition. The municipality's first line of defense is its beach and dune system.

The dunes are home to a form of vegetation (dune grass) that is extremely hardy, adaptable to quick drainage and salt exposure, but not tolerant of being crushed as this destroys the rhizomes necessary for propagation. Proper placement of sand fencing (snow fencing) is an important boost to the formation of dunes, deterring erosion from winds, and offers additional protection for the dune grasses. Local ordinances provide for the care and maintenance of dune structures, walkways, and elevation requirements. Please contact the Building Department for information on any type of construction or alterations in floodplain areas.

More information on dune grass, other dune vegetation and dune formation can be found at the USDA Website.

The municipality is fortunate to have a fairly wide expanse of beach; some neighbors, particularly in Monmouth County, must rely on seawalls to protect them from tide surges.

Floodplain Mapping

The official flood map is available for review at the Building Department. The map clearly delineates the different zones, in accordance with FEMA requirements and the CRS program.

Floodplain Development Requirement Permits

The Borough of Point Pleasant Beach requires that property owners contact the Building Department prior to performing any work in a floodplain to determine what procedures must be followed and to obtain the necessary permits. This applies to any type of construction, fill, or development. Because changes to the floodplain can impact negatively neighboring properties, any illegal floodplain development should be reported to the proper authorities. Please call the Building and Zoning Office at 732-892-1118 with any inquiries regarding floodplain development.

Substantial Improvement / Damage Requirements

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building's market value, then the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must be brought up to the same standards (e.g. a residence damaged so that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building's value before it was damaged must be elevated above the base flood elevation).

Point Pleasant Beach has two specific flood zone designations and the building requirements for each are different. The V zones (velocity zones-those that are subject to tidal surges with velocity wave action) requires that all new construction and substantial improvements to existing structures must be elevated on adequately anchored pilings or columns so that the lowest horizontal structural member is at or above the base flood elevation. No fill may be used for support in these structures. The Building Department can provide property owners with additional specifications and engineering/architectural certifications that are needed for construction in these zones.

Substantial improvements or new construction in A zones must be elevated so that the lowest floor (including basements) is at or above the base flood elevation. This may be accomplished through the use of fill.

Substantially damaged buildings are held to the same requirements as new or improved construction. Substantial damage is determined by the cost of repairs.

Construction permits are required prior to building of any kind. The Building Department wants to assist property owners in every way possible to ensure the safety and insurability of homes and businesses. Please feel free to contact the Building Department at 732-892-1118.

Drainage System Maintenance

Point Pleasant Beach's municipal drainage system is designed to effectively remove rainwater via storm drains, catch basins, and underground pipelines. In order for this system to operate as designated, it must be kept free of debris. Residents also need to be aware that they are responsible for keeping their property cleared of fallen leaves, litter, and other items which can be transported into the storm drainage system and decrease maximum drainage.

The storm drain system carries untreated rainwater into river and bay waters. Discharging any substance into the system is illegal (i.e. sewage, paints, grass clippings/leaves, fertilizers, cleaning solutions, etc.) due to the destruction of aquatic life and potential health hazards to humans and pets.

Please report any violations of drainage system management (i.e. illegal dumping into storm drain system) by calling the New Jersey Environmental Hotline at 877-927-6337.

Contact Information

Listed below are available sources to assist property owners with issues related to flood hazards, flood protection, insurance, construction, and safety.

ContactPhone Number
Construction Official/CRS Coordinator, Michael Thulen732-892-1118, ext. 225
Emergency Management Coordinator, Chris Dempsey732-892-0500
New Jersey NFIP Coordinator, John Moyle609-292-2296
FEMA Regional Office, Bill McDonald212-680-3622
OC Soil Conservation District, Christine Raab609-971-7002
Army Corps of Engineers347-370-4550
Ocean County Health Department732-341-9700