the flood

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An expert has warned that communities should better prepare for flooding in their homes and businesses, as climate change predictions suggest more severe flooding globally.

Floods continue to cause significant damage to economies, livelihoods and the well-being of communities, and the risks and impacts of floods are set to increase due to climate change.

Lindsey McEwan, professor of environmental management, points out how many experts now believe that local communities have important roles as key actors within them. And .

Professor McEwan said, “Flood risks are becoming more diverse, as they affect communities. So the question is how can communities become more resilient?”

Increased risk

Professor McEwen cites various studies to show that more severe floods are likely with increased impacts on people in developed world settings.

Along with the increasing impacts of climate change, the economic value of assets on floodplains is also increasing. A study These annual losses from floods in Europe could increase from 5.3 billion euros to 40 billion by 2050, with the number of victims increasing from 200 thousand to more than 0.5 million.

Professor McEwen draws on evidence from the latest research, policy, and practice literature on community-focused flood risk management and over 20 years of research and different risks to outline risk misconceptions and barriers. Draws on experience working with diverse communities. Management, and development opportunities.

She says the first misconception about flood mitigation is that it can be solved purely through government-funded engineering solutions.

“Investing in large infrastructure projects as the sole solution to flood management has not reduced environmental, financial and even emotional damages,” she explains. “Investment in defense infrastructure alone, with its cost and design limitations, can only be part of the solution.”

Reducing risk

The residual risk remains after the implementation of flood risk management measures, for example, by . Professor McEwan argues that effective risk management involves all stakeholders, it is ‘urgently necessary’ for the public to take some responsibility for the residual flood risk and their own protection.

“Flood risk management is about how we shift the focus from preparedness and resilience responses at the household and community level. Much of this residual risk management needs to happen at the local level, but people have There may not be the necessary knowledge, skills or resources to do so,” she explains.

Local flood risk management involves more than just government institutions, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community flood groups, small businesses, and local cultural and media actors.

“The key is where residual risk reduction responsibilities lie within the public psyche. Flood risk management requires networks, collaboration and communication, including increased participation. As key stakeholders. In some settings, structural measures, often implemented by the government, address design risk but residual risk remains,” she explains.

Professor McEwen argues that even with non-structural flood risk management techniques, such as land zoning, led by government or other actors, it often still requires community awareness and agency to be effective, such as flooding. Engage with the early warning system.

“Despite these measures, the residual risk of flooding remains to be addressed in areas at risk, such as through property level protection.”

Obstacles to success.

One problem with community resilience, Professor McEwan says, is that some may see it as a “government backsliding on responsibility” rather than working with legal intervention.

“A key question is how to increase community participation and agency while the expectation of a key role for the state is still widespread. In the developed world there is a broader understanding between citizens and water,” she explains.

“While effective community-focused flood risk management requires action from a broad group of communities and stakeholders, communities have variable knowledge, authority or resources to participate in local flood risk planning. are.”

It also includes citizen involvement in a wide range of community activities (eg, local governance, volunteerism, mutual aid and activism) working with and through community-based organizations, businesses, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Can be included. The building

Another barrier to sustainable risk management is people’s individual vulnerability, including age, health, income, isolation and housing characteristics.

Hurricanes that hit the US East Coast are often cited as examples of differential impacts among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. In just two examples, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017, African Americans, non-Hispanic blacks, and socioeconomically disadvantaged residents were hardest hit. These groups had limited access to resources necessary for response, recovery and medical care.

“To reduce personal harm, citizens—individually and collectively—need to be aware of what the state can or will do, what residual risk remains, and how to mitigate that residual risk. needs to be planned for,” Professor McEwan concluded.

Professor McEwen is the author of Flood risk and community resilience,

More information:
Lindsay Jo McEwan, Flood Risk and Community Resilience, (2024). DOI: 10.4324/9781315666914

Provided by
Taylor and Francis

Reference: Communities must prepare for increased flooding due to climate change, expert warns (2024, February 18) Accessed February 18, 2024 at https://phys.org/news/2024-02-communities-due-climate Retrieved from -expert.html.

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