This week's release of FEMA's new preliminary work maps for Atlantic and Ocean Counties have been viewed as a reprieve for many South Jersey homeowners who suddenly found themselves facing a drastic increase in flood insurance rates.

But what exactly do these new maps mean for you and how much will you have to pay for flood insurance next year or in five years?

Here are ways to find out how the new flood maps will impact you financially.

First, remember that the maps are still only preliminary, which means they are still subject to change.

Here is a link to the new FEMA Work Maps.  By typing in your street address, you can see the latest flood classification for your property.

FEMA is now listing a telephone numer you can call to ask how this will translate to flood insurance rates. For this information, call FEMA at 1-877-287-9804.

You will be asked to follow prompts and, because of expected high call volume, you will probably have to leave a message.  But someone from FEMA should return your call and have information on what your future flood insurance rates will be.

Being in this situation myself, I'm very interested in your experience with FEMA and the information they give you.  Please leave any comments concerning this process below.  Good luck!