FEMA reps will be in Ortley, the Northern beaches and on the mainland for the next month, to assess substantial damage to homes. All FEMA reps are wearing vests and will have ID.
Starting Saturday, July 20th, FEMA Inspectors will be in Zones 9 & 10, which are the sections of Gilford Park, Money Island, Washington Street and Downtown Areas. These are the last sections to be inspected and this process is anticipated to end within a two week time frame.
FEMA-Contracted Inspection of Damaged Property Update
As required by federal law and regulation under the national flood insurance program (NFIP), FEMA contracted with a firm to conduct damage inspections of properties that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy. As with many issues since Sandy, however, there has been misleading and downright incorrect information about the inspections circulating on social media. Toms River Township wants to continue to provide the best information available to our residents, so we have put together the following points regarding this program.
- As noted above, these inspections are REQUIRED under the NFIP to assess the level of damage sustained by the property owners. Contrary to what has been written on some of the social media sites, the Township is not privy to individual property information gleaned by the inspections, and therefore, is NOT utilizing the inspections as a way to ascertain if property owners have applied for building or zoning permits. That is simply not true and the individual inspection information is NOT shared with the Township. It is clearly in the best interest of property owners to permit access to the inspectors and allow them to complete the damage assessment. If access is denied, the inspectors will have no choice but to assume the worst in terms of damage. TheFEMA inspectors are there to assess the damage on homes for mainly two reasons:
1-So the Township can continue its eligibility in the NFIP, or National Flood Insurance Program. Without this, Toms River residents would not be able to get new mortgages that require flood insurance, leaving many residents unable to sell their home. Also, existing mortgages which have requirements that the owner maintain flood insurance, would become void.
2-The FEMA assessments are being done to protect each homeowner, especially those who have already begun renovations on their homes. Basically, your flood insurance could be voided if you decide to rebuild without a permit, and this inspection will help the homeowner who doesn’t realize the safety aspect of having a permit on certain types of projects, such as rebuilding. For more on permit guidelines, visit our website link, “Permit guidelines for storm-damaged homes.”
- There are 10,778 properties that need to be inspected. The teams of inspectors are working in 10 separate geographical “sectors” as shown on the attached map. As of 6/18/13, 3,074 inspections have been completed, which represents approximately 28.5% of the total number of inspections. We want to thank these residents for cooperating with the inspectors and providing access to their property.
- Inspectors work from 8 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Saturday. Each inspector has proper identification including a letter from the Township Engineer. Additionally, the Township assigned police officers to accompany the teams as they complete their work to provide the inspectors and the general public with a level of comfort. The inspectors are required to take pictures to document conditions they see.
- The police department will be initiating reverse 9-1-1 calls in an attempt to notify residents where the inspectors will be working. If residents still have questions, they can call the Township Engineering Department at 732-341-1000 EXT.8120