New Jersey Homes With Foundation Flood Vents Improve Flood Rating

October 17, 2012

Smart Vent Products, Inc., a manufacturer of passive flood mitigation products, recently assisted in a complete flood vent retrofit of more than 45 homes in Sea Isle City, N.J.

The installation of the Foundation Flood Vent System ensured that homes became compliant with flood venting regulations, and resulted in the community’s acceptance into a national flood mitigation program, the Community Rating System (CRS).

The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements. In return, discounted flood insurance rates are awarded to those communities that have demonstrated a proactive commitment to prevent flood damage and reduce danger. Both programs are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and require adherence to a rigorous set of standards, which must be verified by FEMA specialists prior to any community applying.

“One of the biggest obstacles Sea Isle City had to overcome while trying to get into the NFIP’s CRS program was the mitigation of existing FEMA violations. The majority of these violations had to do with the improper or insufficient flood venting of existing structures,” said Neil Byrne, construction official in Sea Isle City. “Through an extensive program of education and enforcement, we were able to mitigate these violations, submit our application for the CRS program, and ultimately gain acceptance as a Class 6 community.”

After nearly 200 property owners were summoned to court last year over noncompliance with FEMA flood standards, the community took exhaustive steps to raise its standards relative to flood protection. This included the installation of SMART VENT products, which are certified by the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) and accepted by FEMA.

In July 2012, Sea Isle City was notified by FEMA that it has achieved eligibility to participate in the CRS program and will enter the program this fall as Class 6. As a result, residents will be rewarded with a 20 percent savings on their flood insurance premiums, and the community will collectively save approximately $800,000 in the upcoming year.

Source: Smart Vent Products, Inc.

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