Risk Management Strategies and the Role of Social Context: A Comparative Study

E. Fragouli, D. Hutcheon, J. Faryna

Abstract


Researchers have been suggesting that there is a need to examine the wider social context and its role in influencing flood risk management strategies; this has also been joined by a call for further research into the risks of increased rainfall as part of overall climate change. In response to these calls this research study examines the case studies of two pluvial, meaning of or caused by rainfall, flood events; the Calgary, Canada floods of 2013 and the Montrose, Scotland floods of 2016. These events were considered to be 1 in 100 year low probability scenarios and caused significant disruption to the affected areas. The study focuses on the examination into the social context of such events; by examining the risk perceptions before the event, the flood management strategies used and the social impact of the events it was possible to gain insight into the wider picture of pluvial flooding. The analysis of the cases demonstrated that the perceptions of the events were low, due to the unusual nature of the events, but the forecasting of a flood and the issuing of warnings helped to reduce the impact and predict the areas that were most likely to be affected. It has also highlighted the importance of setting common goals, and engaging with, all the necessary stakeholders to improve the effectiveness of strategies and responses. The study concludes by indicating issues that may be of interest to decision makers and researchers in the field of risk management.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/erm.v4i1.12582

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