News & Announcements Blog

This blog is about NJAFM News and Announcements. Posts can only be made by NJAFM Administrators, however comments to the posts can be made by all registered members. If you have an announcement that you would like posted to this blog, send the request to secretary@njafm.org. This blog is viewable by the public.

  • Sunday, January 24, 2016 7:09 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    Insurance Committee Member Alert: 

    FEMA released the updated Elevation Certificate and Floodproofing Certificate

    Jan. 22, 2016  


    Good Afternoon,


    For those who have not heard, FEMA released the updated Elevation Certificate and Floodproofing Certificate Jan. 6 via an NFIP Bulletin W-16002. Unfortunately, it has not yet been posted on FEMA's website nor did FEMA provide any indication of the changes made or when you must stop using the old ones.

    A review of differences between the new and old EC was recently completed by the ASFPM Insurance Committee Co-chairs (thanks John Gerber for taking the lead), and the following are some of the noticed differences:

    • The main one is the addition of Diagram 2B - Intended to address the situation where the bottom floor is below ground level (grade) on all sides. This is generally where the natural grade/fill is removed on one side to create an area that is often considered a walkout basement. The grade immediately adjacent to the structure on that one side may be at or below the bottom floor, however, since the area was dug out, the LAG must be taken at the existing grade before the material was removed and not adjacent to the structure. 
    • The form is now on legal size paper
    • Currently, it is only in Adobe; there is no Word version. The Adobe pdf has some limitations. It can be opened in Adobe, and populated, but it cannot be saved (a warning notice pops up telling you that). If you want to save it, you must have Adobe Pro. Also, the photo section is a text field and you have to have Adobe Pro to convert it to an image field before pictures can be attached.
    • Page numbering starts on the cover sheet - 15 pages. On the old EC, page numbering started on the instructions page going from 1-9 and did not include the EC form.
    • Page 3 - added the statement at the top of the page: Copy all pages of this Elevation Certificate and all attachments for (1) community official, (2) Insurance agent/company, and (3) building owner.
    • The Property information inputted in Section A now auto-populates Section B3 and the subsequent pages where the property information is required. This is definitely a helpful improvement!
    • Section D, the certification page, was moved to the second page of the EC form. This may be an oversight by FEMA since the EC was modified years ago to include the certification on the first page to prevent the second page certification from being attached to incorrect or different first pages. Surveyors were finding their seal on the second page was stapled to multiple first pages that they did not actually complete.
    • In the "Comment" section, the following wording was added: including type of equipment and location. Per C2(e), if applicable

    There are a few other minor ones; however, if you see a major one that was missed, please alert the co-chairs at (InsuranceCorner@floods.org). Meanwhile, look for future updates in the Insurance Corner of The Insider if additional guidance is provided by FEMA.


    Your humble Insurance Committee Co-chairs


    John Gerber and Bruce Bender 

    InsuranceCorner@floods.org


  • Sunday, January 24, 2016 7:05 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    New Elevation Certificate and Floodproofing Forms

    We have been waiting a long time for the new FEMA Elevation Certificate and Floodproofing Forms to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget and I’m pleased to say it’s finally happened!  Both forms have expiration dates of 11/30/2018.  You will notice many formatting changes as well as a new building diagram on the Elevation Certificate depicting walkout basements.  They have not yet been posted to the FEMA Library but you can download both forms at:  http://nfipiservice.com/Stakeholder/W_16002/W-16002.html  and should start using them immediately.

     


  • Monday, January 11, 2016 8:50 AM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    NJAFM members are encouraged to attend the New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors (NJSPLS) Conference, SurvCon 2016 at their member rate as a result of a partnership agreement between the two organizations.  The Conference is to be held at Bally’s in Atlantic City, NJ from Wednesday, February 3rd through Friday, February 5th.   3.5 Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) continuing education credits will be available for each of the following courses:

    Course # 4: Update on Flood Insurance & Floodplain Management

    Wednesday, 2/3/2016 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM  

    Presenter: Tom Little, CFM, Smart Vent Products, Inc., Risk Reduction Plus Group, Inc

     

    Course # 9:  New Jersey Tidelands Claims

    Wednesday, 2/3/2016 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    Presenter: Edward C. Eastman, Esq.

     

    Course # 14:  Wetlands Basics for Surveyors

    Thursday, 2/4/2016 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Presenter: Vincent Creevy, PLS

     

    Course # 21: How Do the Pieces Fit? A Guide to FEMA, FIRMS & NFIP

    Friday, 2/5/2016 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Presenter: J. Andrew Martin, CFM Mitigation Outreach FEMA Region II

    Further information on the Conference can be found at:

    http://www.njspls.org/events/event_details.asp?id=664623&group=#

     

    HOTEL INFORMATION: The NJSPLS room rate is just $65.00per room in Bally’s Tower.  These rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. SurvCon guests will also receive complimentary Internet access in their hotel room and on the conference floor. Hotel reservations can be made directly with Ballys by calling:  888-516-2215 (24 hours a day, seven days a week) and state that you are with the New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors and use ** GROUP CODE:  SBO1LN6** to receive the group rate.

     

    Registration for NJAFM members at the NJSPLS member rate CANNOT be done online and can only be done by using the registration form and scanning and e-mailing or via fax.  Be sure to indicate that you are a member of NJAFM on your registration form. We hope to see you in Atlantic City!

    E-mail is: rgoldberg@njspls.org

    Fax Number: 1-888-475-1858


  • Friday, January 08, 2016 7:02 AM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    The Emergency Management Institute National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland is offering a course on Integrating Emergency Management Education into Your Institution.

    This course is an interactive workshop designed to assist minority and minority-serving institutions of higher education (IHEs) in establishing or enhancing Emergency Management (EM) courses or programs in their institutions. It addresses issues unique to them, and begins the process of identifying and overcoming institutional roadblocks to increasing their schools’ EM-related offerings. 

    Alternative dates of the course offering and other information can be found in the attached file.     

    EMI -E0390 Integrating Emergency Management Education into Your Institution.pdf


  • Monday, December 28, 2015 8:56 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)



     

    NFIP Training is Now Available Online!

    The NFIP offers free online courses in basic and advanced flood insurance topics through the FEMA Emergency Management Institute.NFIP Training courses are free and open to anyone. Click on a link below to begin your self study course. 

     AGENT COURSES

    Basic Agent Tutorial
    With the introduction of the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and the Homeowner Affordability Act of 2014, it is critical for agents to refresh their knowledge of the NFIP. The
     Basic Agent Tutorial presents the fundamentals, including zones, coverage, loss settlement, and underwriting rating concepts such as the FEMA Elevation Certificate. The course covers all training topics mandated by the Flood Insurance Reform Act (FIRA) of 2004.

    Theory of Elevation Rating
    This specialized course is appropriate for those with a basic understanding of the FEMA Elevation Certificate and who are ready to tackle advanced topics in elevation rating for A and V zones. Important rating considerations in high-risk zones are discussed and demonstrated including the Lowest Floor Elevation, machinery and equipment, and whether the building is with or without obstruction.

    Insuring Condominiums
    With a growing number of condominium developments throughout the US, particularly in the most flood-prone states, insurance agents can expand their book of condominium business by writing coverage through the NFIP.
    Insuring Condominiums provides a broad overview of the different ways that condominiums can be insured through the Program. Short video segments guide insurance agents through the key elements they need to know to effectively write condominium exposures.

    Writing Commercial Exposures
    Insurance agents regularly view the NFIP as an outlet to write personal lines exposures for their clients, but they may not be aware of additional opportunities to cover their policyholders’ commercial exposures.
     Writing Commercial Exposures provides practical insights designed to assist agents with identifying, targeting, and writing commercial risks through the National Flood Insurance Program.

    Coastal Barrier Resources Act
    In an effort to minimize loss of human life and future flood damage as well as protect our nation’s natural resources, the Coastal Barrier Resources Act restricts development in the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) and Otherwise Protected Areas (OPAs) by prohibiting all federal expenditures and financial assistance, including flood insurance, for residential and commercial development in the identified areas. The
     Coastal Barrier Resources Act course takes insurance agents through identifying protected areas on the Flood Insurance Rate Map and reviews the significance of the CBRS designation date and the building’s date of construction or improvement. Understanding these important elements will assist agents in determining eligibility for flood insurance.

     

    ADJUSTER COURSES

    NFIP Claims Review for Adjusters
    New and experienced adjusters seeking the necessary knowledge and skill to adjust claims for the NFIP will find
     NFIP Claims Review for Adjusters, formerly a 7-hour classroom presentation, essential for adjusting NFIP claims. This course defines the role, standards, and necessary requirements to adjust claims within the NFIP. In addition, it offers an overview of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy through a step-by-step outline of the similarities and contrasts found in the Dwelling Form, General Property Form, and the Residential Condominium Building Association Policy. With a focus on providing excellent customer service, this course also identifies common errors and adjustment issues where special attention is needed to ensure a high level of quality in the claims settlement process.

    Adjuster Customer Service
    Adjusters are among the first responders to interact with policyholders after a flood and therefore play a critical role in representing the NFIP. Due to the traumatic nature of a flooding event, adjusters must create and maintain a customer-centric focus during each interaction with the policyholder.
    Adjuster Customer Service provides guidance on using empathy, sincerity, friendliness, and other skills to communicate effectively with policyholders. The course reviews the attributes of excellent customer service and aids the adjuster in building positive rapport with each policyholder.

    Introduction to Flood Claims
    NFIP flood losses and loss settlements are particularly specialized. To adjust NFIP claims, a flood adjuster must be qualified and must complete the process of becoming an NFIP certified adjuster. NFIP adjusters achieve levels of authority based on flood adjusting experience and knowledge of the Program.
     Introduction to Flood Claims provides an overview of adjusting NFIP claims and reviews the NFIP Standard Flood Insurance Policy.

    Understanding Basement Coverage
    Due to coverage limitations, adjusting claims in buildings with basements can be challenging.
     Understanding Basement Coverage reviews key characteristics of basement buildings and discusses covered and non-covered building and personal property items located in basement buildings. The course concludes with a review of special adjustment issues.

    Introduction to Commercial Claims
    Introduction to Commercial Claims reviews the General Property Form as it relates to both small and large commercial claims, and provides a review of certification requirements, adjuster authority, documentation requirements, and adjustment standards and requirements. Knowledge in each of these areas is fundamental to meeting Program requirements for flood adjusters. The course presents two case studies that reflect real world flood adjusting experiences and challenge the learner to apply flood adjusting concepts involving policy limits, reserve estimating, and coverage restrictions.

     

    SURVEYOR COURSE

    Elevation Certificate for Surveyors
    The FEMA Elevation Certificate is an administrative tool of the NFIP which is used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, or support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment.
     Elevation Certificate for Surveyors provides necessary information and resources for surveyors, engineers, architects, and community officials to understand how to properly complete the Elevation Certificate. In addition to a fundamental overview, this course offers advanced topics such as Engineered Flood Openings, Floodproofing, and V Zone Design Certificates.

     

    ALL AUDIENCES

    Increased Cost of Compliance
    After severe flooding, local communities must assess a building’s damage to assure compliance with local floodplain management ordinance provisions. Before building repair or reconstruction is permitted, it may be necessary to require certain measures to reduce future flood damage. Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage is available under the NFIP Standard Flood Insurance Policy to assist policyholders with the cost to comply with these requirements. The
     Increased Cost of Compliance course provides an overview of ICC coverage and eligibility and takes the learner through the claims process to gain a better understanding of this important coverage benefit.

    EC Made Easy: Elevation Certificate Overview
    Do you know when the FEMA Elevation Certificate is required, optional, or not needed to rate NFIP flood insurance premiums?
     EC Made Easy: Elevation Certificate Overview will guide you through the purpose of the Elevation Certificate, aid you in locating a certifying professional, and provide details on properly completing and interpreting the Elevation Certificate. This course assists insurance agents and other professionals in learning the basics of the Elevation Certificate and identifying the impact flood risk has on flood insurance costs.

    FEMA Mapping Changes
    All NFIP stakeholders will benefit from this course, which provides a practical look at how changes to FEMA flood maps affect property owners, insurance agents, lending institutions, and others.
     FEMA Mapping Changesexplores the impact of map changes through a series of self-guided interactive exercises designed to assist learners with navigating through mapping changes as they occur.

     

     

     

     

    PLEASE NOTE: These courses are NOT approved for continuing education (CE) credit by any State Department of Insurance.

    Upon successfully passing the exam, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement noting CE earned through IACET (iacet.org). Each hour of instruction completed earns 0.1 CE units through IACET. If you are taking a FEMA EMI Independent Study course to earn CE, be sure to confirm in advance that your professional board or other preferred accrediting entity will accept IACET CE. You can also check IACET's website for a list of entities that accept IACET CE: http://iacet.org/who-accepts-the-iacet-ceu-g-see-a-list. FEMA accepts IACET CE.

    EMI Independent Study course exams now require a FEMA Student Identification (SID) Number. You can register for an SID athttps://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid.

     


  • Wednesday, December 16, 2015 6:09 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)
    The US Army Corps of Engineers will be sponsoring a floodproofing workshop for Cumberland County to be held Thursday Feb 18 and Sat Feb 20. The Thursday session will run from 6:30-8:30 PM with a Q/A and breakout session from 8:30-9:00PM at the Downe Township Hall.
    The Saturday session will be held from 12:00-12:30PM meet and greet 12:30-3:00 Workshop and 3:00-4:00PM Q/A breakout session at the Bayshore Center in Bivalve.   CFM continuing education credits (CECs) will be  available for attendance at the 2/18 training (2 CECs) and the 2/20 training (3.5 CECs).For further information contact:

    Eric T Majusiak
    Hydraulic Engineer
    USACE Philadephia
    Eric.T.Majusiak@USACE.ARMY.MIL
    215-656-6550


  • Thursday, December 03, 2015 10:55 AM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) invites you to attend a webinar on the status of the ongoing Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates for your community. 

     Following FEMA’s release of preliminary FIRMs for New Jersey’s coastal communities, local officials and residents reviewed the maps and submitted appeals and comments.  FEMA staff have reviewed these stakeholder concerns and provided proposed resolutions to nearly all appellants.  FEMA will incorporate data gained from the appeals and comments into the flood hazard information for New Jersey’s coastal communities where appropriate. 

     To keep New Jersey communities apprised of the status of their FIRM and FIS report, FEMA Region II will host a series of webinars for the affected communities in coastal New Jersey counties  The agenda for these meetings include:

     ·  a status update on appeals and comments submitted from local officials and property owners;

    ·  information regarding a technical appeal submitted by New York City (NYC) and potential impacts on the FIRMs and FIS reports for New Jersey coastal communities; and

    ·  next steps in the map update process.

     I strongly encourage you to attend the webinar for your county to learn about the status of the current FIS and FIRM.  I have attached a schedule of the upcoming webinars for your reference.  A link to each county’s webinar is included in the attachment On the date and time specified for your county, please click the link to attend the webinar.  If you cannot attend the webinar for your county, please feel free to attend a webinar for another county.  It is important to note that if the NYC appeal resolution results in the need for further revisions of coastal New Jersey FIRMs, no additional actions will be required by affected communities.  

    FEMA Region II appreciates the continued support of New Jersey’s coastal communities in our shared mission of ensuring the most precise flood hazard information is available to residents and business owners so they can better understand their risk and learn about things they can do to reduce that risk.  If you need additional information regarding New Jersey’s preliminary FIRMs or the NYC appeal, please contact, J. Andrew Martin, CFM at 212-680-8690 or 202-716-2721.

    FEMA Region II NY-NJ FIS Webinar Schedule.pdf


  • Saturday, November 14, 2015 6:31 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)
              Introducing Green Infrastructure                  
    for Coastal Resiliency

     JC NERR logo 

     

    Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience

     

    When

    Tuesday November 17, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM EST

    Add to Calendar

     

     

    Where

    Jacques Cousteau Reserve

    130 Great Bay Blvd
    Tuckerton, NJ 08087

    Driving Directions


    We would love to invite you to our "Green Infrastructure for Resilience" 1-day workshop.

    Session Objectives:

    • Participants recognize green infrastructure terms and concepts
    • Participants understand the ecological, economic, and societal benefits of green infrastructure
    • Participants understand the wide variety of contexts and scales of approaches referred to as "green infrastructure" today
    • Participants identify new or existing planning processes suitable for integrating green infrastructure concepts and techniques
    • Participants identify local green infrastructure activities and experts with additional information and resources

    Click on the link below to register or RSVP.

    Get more information

    Register Now!

    I can't make it

    Thank you for your attention and response, and I look forward to seeing you at the workshop.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Lisa Auermuller

    Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve

    auermull@marine.rutgers.edu

    609-812-0649 x204



  • Saturday, November 14, 2015 3:21 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    The 2015 NJAFM Year in Review Report is here.  

  • Friday, November 06, 2015 5:56 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)
    New Jersey Urban Water Conference


    Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015
    8:00am to 12:30pm New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark NJ

    The New Jersey Urban Water Conference is a half-day event that will bring together state and local decision-makers, practitioners and stakeholders to build awareness of the importance of modern drinking water, stormwater and wastewater infrastructure as key to New Jersey’s prosperity.

    The conference will:
    • Build awareness of the importance of modern drinking water, stormwater and wastewater infrastructure as key to New Jersey’s prosperity
    • Educate on best practices and innovative solutions
    • Celebrate Jersey Water Works, its members and accomplishments
    • For further information go to:  njurbanwater.com

                   and  

    http://www.njfuture.org/issues/environment-and-agriculture/water-sewer/urban-water-infrastructure/



New Jersey Association For Floodplain Management
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