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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 hydrological and social spheres of early warning systems are increasingly being considered as key aspects for successful 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 awareness, or even denial. In this study, we use the recency of flood experiences as a proxy for social preparedness 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 circumstances 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 hydrological and social spheres of early warning systems are increasingly being considered as key aspects for successful 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 awareness, or even denial. In this study, we use the recency of flood experiences as a proxy for social preparedness 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 circumstances 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
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Water Science and Technology
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:09 May 2017 14:24
Last Modified:26 Jan 2022 12:54
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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