Flood Risk (rbdh-hudson-20151924-what-is-flood-risk) encompasses a combination of the likelihood of a flood event occurring, the nature of the flood event, and the consequences of this flood event to humans and their environment. Therefore, there are several key criteria that you must look at when trying to ascertain your flood risk.
Flooding has multiple causes and not everyone is affected in the same way. People are more vulnerable when they lack the resources and/or knowledge necessary to inform effective action in increasing the capacity of their homes, other structures and their communities.
What do we mean when we speak of vulnerability and risk?
Vulnerability is a function of our exposure to flooding (the presence of human or environmental assets and services that could be adversely affected), our susceptibility (the physical characteristics which make an area likely to flood), and our resilience capacity (the ability to prepare for, react to and recover quickly from the damaging effect of realised hazards). (UNESCO-IHE)
Flood Risk is the product of that vulnerability and the total value of the assets that are exposed to flooding. These assets can be spiritual, environmental, social, personal and economic and may not carry a simple financial value.
UWTT in collaboration with several major stakeholders have identified key criteria that may help you to identify whether you are at a low, medium or high flood risk. You may be susceptible to flooding but, if you are adequately prepared, may still have a much lower risk.
Likelihood of a Flood Event–
Floods have a multitude of causes and their frequency and intensity vary with time.
Flood Annual Probability refers to the measure of the chance of flooding occurring in a location over the course of one year. This will change depending on environmental conditions, land use change and changes in flood-weather events.
Floods also have an added dimension of floodwater depth, duration until the waters subside, and onset time from flood source to affected area which all comprise their intensity. Floodwater can also carry contaminants and have variable flow speeds.
Consequences of Flood Event-
The consequences of flood events vary based on a person’s location, knowledge on what must be done to increase their capacity to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from a flood event, and their ability and willingness to bring to action this knowledge.