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Impact of social preparedness on flood early warning systems


Girons Lopez, Marc; Di Baldassarre, Giuliano; Seibert, Jan (2017). Impact of social preparedness on flood early warning systems. Water Resources Research, 53(1):522-534.

Abstract

Flood early warning systems play a major role in the disaster risk reduction paradigm as cost-effective methods to mitigate flood disaster damage. The connections and feedbacks between the hydro-logical and social spheres of early warning systems are increasingly being considered as key aspects for suc-cessful flood mitigation. The behavior of the public and first responders during flood situations, determinedby their preparedness, is heavily influenced by many behavioral traits such as perceived benefits, risk aware-ness, or even denial. In this study, we use the recency of flood experiences as a proxy for social prepared-ness to assess its impact on the efficiency of flood early warning systems through a simple stylized modeland implemented this model using a simple mathematical description. The main findings, which are basedon synthetic data, point to the importance of social preparedness for flood loss mitigation, especially in cir-cumstances where the technical forecasting and warning capabilities are limited. Furthermore, we foundthat efforts to promote and preserve social preparedness may help to reduce disaster-induced losses byalmost one half. The findings provide important insights into the role of social preparedness that may helpguide decision-making in the field of flood early warning systems.

Abstract

Flood early warning systems play a major role in the disaster risk reduction paradigm as cost-effective methods to mitigate flood disaster damage. The connections and feedbacks between the hydro-logical and social spheres of early warning systems are increasingly being considered as key aspects for suc-cessful flood mitigation. The behavior of the public and first responders during flood situations, determinedby their preparedness, is heavily influenced by many behavioral traits such as perceived benefits, risk aware-ness, or even denial. In this study, we use the recency of flood experiences as a proxy for social prepared-ness to assess its impact on the efficiency of flood early warning systems through a simple stylized modeland implemented this model using a simple mathematical description. The main findings, which are basedon synthetic data, point to the importance of social preparedness for flood loss mitigation, especially in cir-cumstances where the technical forecasting and warning capabilities are limited. Furthermore, we foundthat efforts to promote and preserve social preparedness may help to reduce disaster-induced losses byalmost one half. The findings provide important insights into the role of social preparedness that may helpguide decision-making in the field of flood early warning systems.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:09 May 2017 14:24
Last Modified:25 Apr 2018 07:14
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
ISSN:0043-1397
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/2016WR019387

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