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OCEAN COUNTY – Residents will have the chance to ask state and FEMA officials how the updated flood hazard maps for Ocean County will affect you and your flood insurance, in an open house event coming to Toms River from 4 to 8 p.m. Ocean County, state Department of Environmental Protection and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are scheduled for a Flood Risk Open House to learn about the flood hazard maps and your flood risk. The flood hazard maps, also known as flood insurance rate maps or FIRMs, were released in an update from FEMA’s Region II office. The FIRMs show what areas in Ocean County have flood risk, such as a Special Flood Hazard Area, a high-risk flood zone.
Currently, the FEMA Region II website allows users to enter in your street address to see where your property falls. For the purposes of this nonstructural survey, the shaking intensity is based solely on regional seismicity. Within the Special Flood Hazard Area, the maps show AE and VE zones, with VE zones the most severe, having a wave component that is greater than three feet.
For other situations, it may be advisable to choose the next higher shaking intensity or to seek the advice of professional consultants. Clearly, the complexity and detail of engineering calculations should commensurate with the complexity and importance of the facility and the item in question.
These maps consider locations and seismic activity of all known seismic sources and faults which may affect a given site, and the standards provide procedures for adjusting the mapped ground motions for site soil conditions.

For designs requiring compliance with building code or national standard requirements, the maps referenced by the code or standard in effect at the time must be used to establish minimum criteria.In addition, it may be appropriate to consider more than one earthquake scenario for a particular facility, since earthquakes of different magnitudes may occur at different average time intervals. For some facilities, it may be useful to evaluate more probable frequent events, such as those that are likely to occur every 100 years. While new construction projects have to anticipate the most severe shaking, others who are doing voluntary retrofits may find it more economical to plan for a smaller, more frequent event.Technical SidebarEngineering Design ForcesEstimating the earthquake forces acting on a particular item in a particular building can be a difficult technical problem. Estimates of future earthquake damage to either the structural or nonstructural components of a building are only that—estimates—and should be used with discretion. The approximations provided in this guide are adequate for the purpose of making an initial determination of the seismic risk of the nonstructural components of a simple facility. For a facility that is more complex, or for one where the potential risk is high, more detailed analyses should be performed by an in-house engineer or a professional consultant.
In this document, the seismic risks for life safety, property loss, and functional loss have been rated simply as high, medium, or low for different levels of shaking intensity.
Note that these ratings refer to primary losses caused by damage to the item in question; potential consequences or secondary losses are not considered. Appendix E contains more detailed notes concerning the definitions and assumptions used in assigning risk ratings. All components could be assigned a high, medium, or low priority, or each item or type of item could be ranked in order from highest to lowest.

The highest priority might be assigned to those components for which all three risk ratings are high.
If loss of function is not a serious concern, then the highest priority might be assigned to items for which the life safety risk is high and the upgrade cost is lowest, since these hazards could be reduced most cost-effectively.
The assignment of priorities may vary widely for different types of facilities, and this document merely provides some guidelines that can be used to establish a ranking system. In assigning the rating priorities, the requirements for new construction should be considered. For essential facilities, all architectural components are required to be anchored and braced.In areas denoted as experiencing moderate levels of seismic shaking, all architectural components are required to anchored and braced. However, in most buildings, electrical and mechanical components and systems do not require anchorage and bracing. Distributed systems in nonessential facilities, such as piping or HVAC ducting, are also exempt from bracing or anchoring if they weigh less than 5 pounds per lineal foot and are provided with flexible connections.Current seismic codes and standards do not provide much guidance on when seismic anchorage and bracing are required for contents except for cabinets and computer access floors which are treated as architectural components.

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