Protecting Your Property from Flood Hazards
This webpage has been developed to help minimize risk within floodplains, and in order to reduce the amount of flood damage sustained during future flood events. Some areas of Woodbridge Township have been historically susceptible to flooding, and as a result it’s important to know how to protect your property from a potential flood event. To learn more about how to protect your home from flooding and low-cost projects you can do yourself, click HERE. Be sure to obtain all necessary permits before construction.
The information found on this webpage should be used as complimentary guidance materials. This webpage is intended to help provide an overview of key information related to flood risk and vulnerability as per, federal, state and local regulations and floodplain mapping. However, this webpage does not create liability on the part of the municipality, or any officer, or employee thereof, for any damage that results from reliance on guidance or determinations made by its use. This webpage can be used to help aid decision-making processes with engineers, ecologists, planners, construction officials, and emergency managers.
For detailed FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) determinations based on a street address contact the Woodbridge Township Division of Engineering for personal assistance: 732.602.6057
Protect Yourself from Flood Hazards
Prepare for a Potential Flood Event
• Familiarize yourself with how to turn-off the electricity and gas to your house.
• Be aware of alternative evacuation routes from your neighborhood.
• Gather supplies that you might need during a flood event, such as: a “go-bag,” battery- powered radio, emergency kit, etc.
• Plan for how you will care for your pets during a potential flood event.
During and After a Flood Event
• Avoid downed power lines that could pose a serious life-threatening hazard. Report these issues to utility companies immediately.
• Generators should never be operated inside your home or garage.
• Never drive down flooded road ways.
• The Department of Homeland Security has developed a checklist designed to help you properly prepare and recover from a potential evacuation.
Build Responsibly in Flood Hazard Areas
If you are in the market to potentially purchase property, you should examine any possibility of a flood hazard BEFORE YOU BUY & BEFORE YOU BUILD, and the need to have flood insurance to protect yourselves and your property. Flood-proofing techniques vary in size, scale and scope in relation to specific flood hazard conditions. The Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting (FEMA P-312) and other helpful resources are available for order and / or download at www.fema.gov/media-library. Some retrofitting alternatives might include elevating the structure, constructing engineered flood-proofing measures, and protecting utilities. Be sure to obtain all necessary permits before construction. Contact the Building Department (732-602-6003) and Division of Engineering (732-602-6057) for help designing and permitting projects.
The Township recognizes The New Jersey State Flood Hazard Area (FHA) Control Act Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:13. Please note that in situations where the base flood elevation (BFE) denotes a more protective delineation on the 2014 Preliminary FIRM, the State of New Jersey is using the information as the basis for statewide floodplain development standards. To learn more about the types of N.J. Flood Hazard Area Permit Authorizations CLICK HERE. To view the Township's Municipal Flood Damage Ordinance, CLICK HERE and view Chapter 22 of the General Ordinance. To view the Township's Open Space Conservation & Resilience Zone Ordinance (OSC/R Zone), CLICK HERE (PDF).
Click HERE to access the Township’s Floodplain Development Permit Application.
A Floodplain Development Permit is a specific authorization designed in order to comply with Federal, State, and local regulations. A Floodplain Development Permit Application is required if the proposed development is located within a regulatory floodplain, riparian zone, or sensitive environmental area as outlined in the Township's Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. A community official or the Floodplain Administrator may perform inspections throughout the proposed project, as well as when the project is completed to ensure that the development is compliant with the requirements of the local Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance as well as applicable State and Federal regulations.
It's Important to Carry Flood Insurance
Federal law requires that a Flood Insurance Policy be obtained as a condition of a federally backed mortgage or loan that is secured by the structure located in an area of special flood hazard, as per the Effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) delineation. Although some areas susceptible to flood risk do not require the purchase of flood insurance, it is recommended in order to best minimize financial vulnerability during a potential flood event.
It’s important to carry flood insurance even if you are not federally required to do so. According to FEMA, a structure located in the Special Flood Hazard Area has a 26% annual chance of experiencing a 100-year flood event over the course of a 30 year mortgage. A property not in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) may be damaged by a flood greater than that predicted on a flood study, such as a FIRM or state delineation. According to FEMA nearly 25% of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims come from policy holders outside of federally mapped Special Flood Hazard Areas. Learn more about Preferred Risk Policy premiums available through the NFIP, which offer lower-cost coverage for structures mapped outside the SFHA.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding. Don’t wait until storm season to obtain a policy. It typically takes approximately 30 days for a flood insurance policy to take effect. To learn more about flood insurance and to find out how to obtain a policy visit: www.FloodSmart.gov.
Know Your Flood Hazard
Woodbridge Township has areas of special flood hazards located in the AE, A, Coastal A, and VE zones. You can locate Special Flood Hazard Areas in your neighborhood by looking at the Flood Insurance Maps at FEMA's Map Service Center or by visiting our FEMA Flood Zones page by clicking HERE. Woodbridge Township contains areas of tidal and fluvial flooding. Never drive down flooded roadways. To view a real-time tide gauge for NOAA's Sandy Hook Station, click HERE. To learn more about federally regulated FEMA flood zones, CLICK HERE.
The Township of Woodbridge participated in updating the Middlesex County Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan is designed to help identify local weaknesses and assess ways to potentially combat those issues. Thus, the overall outcome of the plan's development to reduce devastating effects of future storm events and other natural hazards. To view the Middlesex County Hazard Mitigation - Appendix 25: Township of Woodbridge, CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE for the Woodbridge Township Interactive Flood Viewer, which shows:
2010 Effective F.I.R.M.
2014 Preliminary F.I.R.M.
Please note that the Woodbridge Township Flood Viewer should only be used as a reference. For further flood zone clarification or to request a flood zone designation letter for your property, please contact Thomas C. Flynn, M.P.A., CFM in the Woodbridge Township Division of Engineering.
"What's My Base Flood Elevation (BFE)?" is a great resource to compare the effective and revised FEMA flood hazard data available for properties in the community.
Protecting Our Natural Floodplain
Only rain goes down the storm drain. The ability for storm drain systems to function correctly directly relates to minimizing the flood inundation, potential damage sustained during strong rain events, and the reduction of non-point source pollution into our waterways. Natural habitats are the definition of resilient infrastructure, as they are more readily able to rebound after powerful storm events. In addition to providing flood storage capacity, these areas are havens for safeguarding the existing benefits associated with healthy natural areas, such as filtration of nutrient runoff and biodiversity. To learn more about the beneficial functions of natural floodplains, CLICK HERE (PDF).
Floodplain RestorationNew Jersey Association for Floodplain Management (NJAFM) awarded Woodbridge Township NFAFM's 2017 Outstanding Floodplain Management Award! This award is given annually to recognize an outstanding floodplain management program, project, or activity in New Jersey. The Township has been chosen for effectively helping people escape from harm's way through the Blue Acres program, and additionally focusing on floodplain restoration. The NJAFM Board recognizes the Township's dedication to safety, floodplain management, and progressively working to restore natural floodplain function and habitat with partners from Rutgers Cooperative Extension Wildlife Conservation and Management Program.
Click here to learn more about the Townships Roots For Rivers initiative.
The Township of Woodbridge participates in the New Jersey Coastal Coalition. Click HERE to learn more.
Scientific American Write-Up:
To learn more about Woodbridge Township’s innovative approaches to floodplain restoration featured in Scientific American CLICK HERE. Floodplain restoration helps to minimize risks within hazardous floodplains, aids in reducing the amount of flood damage sustained during future flood events, and enhances ecological integrity.
Click item below to download and view document
- Flood Protection Information Documents cataloged and available at the Woodbridge Main Library
- Above The Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House (PDF)
- Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program (PDF)
- Coastal Construction Manual (PDF)
- Elevated Residential Structures (PDF)
- Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance Guidelines (PDF)
- Mitigation of Flood and Erosion Damage to Residential Buildings in Coastal Areas (PDF)
- Protecting Building Utility Systems From Flood Damage (PDF)
- Protecting Floodplain Resources (PDF)
- Protecting Manufactured Homes From Floods and Other Hazards (PDF)
- Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding (PDF)
- Open Space and Floodplain Restoration Plan (PDF)
- Woodbridge River Floodplain Baseline Ecological Monitoring Report
- Woodbridge River Hydrologic Modeling Report