Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 2075-2092, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-17-2075-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
29 Nov 2017
New insights into flood warning reception and emergency response by affected parties
Heidi Kreibich1, Meike Müller2, Kai Schröter1, and Annegret H. Thieken3 1Section 5.4 Hydrology, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, 14473, Germany
2NatCat-Center, Deutsche Rückversicherung AG, Düsseldorf, 40549, Germany
3Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, 14476, Germany
Abstract. Flood damage can be mitigated if the parties at risk are reached by flood warnings and if they know how to react appropriately. To gain more knowledge about warning reception and emergency response of private households and companies, surveys were undertaken after the August 2002 and the June 2013 floods in Germany. Despite pronounced regional differences, the results show a clear overall picture: in 2002, early warnings did not work well; e.g. many households (27 %) and companies (45 %) stated that they had not received any flood warnings. Additionally, the preparedness of private households and companies was low in 2002, mainly due to a lack of flood experience. After the 2002 flood, many initiatives were launched and investments undertaken to improve flood risk management, including early warnings and an emergency response in Germany. In 2013, only a small share of the affected households (5 %) and companies (3 %) were not reached by any warnings. Additionally, private households and companies were better prepared. For instance, the share of companies which have an emergency plan in place has increased from 10 % in 2002 to 34 % in 2013. However, there is still room for improvement, which needs to be triggered mainly by effective risk and emergency communication. The challenge is to continuously maintain and advance an integrated early warning and emergency response system even without the occurrence of extreme floods.

Citation: Kreibich, H., Müller, M., Schröter, K., and Thieken, A. H.: New insights into flood warning reception and emergency response by affected parties, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 2075-2092, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-17-2075-2017, 2017.
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Early warning is essential for protecting people and mitigating damage in case of flood events. To gain more knowledge, surveys were taken after the 2002 and the 2013 floods in Germany. Results show that early warning and preparedness improved substantially. However, there is still room for further improvement, which needs to be triggered mainly by effective risk and emergency communication.
Early warning is essential for protecting people and mitigating damage in case of flood events....
Share