The Borough of Avalon has achieved a Class 3 status in the Federal Emergency Management’s Community Rating System that evaluates the flood mitigation practices of a community. During its five-year review process, the CRS program elevated Avalon from a Class 5 to a Class 3, meaning property owners who carry flood insurance will enjoy a 35 percent discount on their flood insurance premiums. This translates into approximately $1.6 million in cumulative insurance savings for Avalon residents starting sometime in 2020. 1,700 municipalities participate in the CRS program nationwide; Avalon is one of only 13 municipalities in the entire country to achieve a Class 3 rating.
“This two-level increase by the Borough of Avalon in this program is extremely significant and a true reflection on the Borough’s best flood mitigation practices, recognized on the national level”, said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi. “Flood mitigation is not a once a year, but an everyday practice among our employees, professionals, and volunteers. The CRS program has recognized the Borough’s level of excellence in making our community more resilient and protected from future storm events and sea level rise”.
Avalon received a draft verification report on the points assigned to various activities for which the Borough participates. Avalon secured enough points to move from a Class 5 to a Class 3. In addition, Avalon also secured enough points during this review process that will still secure the Class 3 classification even when points are taken away in the future from every community for adopting advisory base flood elevation maps following Hurricane Sandy. Avalon may also amend its application in 2021 with the potential of achieving a Class 2 status, providing further discounts in flood insurance premiums.
The Borough is aggressively reviewed in this program with a complete evaluation of resiliency efforts, including building code standards, ordinance and regulations, public communications and notification, maintenance of proper elevation certificates, storm water management, and higher regulatory standards. Avalon achieves additional points for having its own Watershed Management Plan and Floodplain Management Plan. Avalon recently authorized a north end flood mitigation project, the elevation and repair of the 8th Street Jetty, and a flood sensor program that measured actual impacts in flood-prone areas.
The Avalon Office of Emergency Management is also highly credited for having a model program for flood risk communications, including a standalone emergency website, presence on social media, Avalon weather station, and municipal flood risk map that is included in all messaging.
Avalon is one of two communities in the State of New Jersey to elevate its program to the Class 3 classification.