Rethinking flood risk communication

Rollason, E., Bracken, Louise J., Hardy, R. J. and Large, A. R. G. (2018) Rethinking flood risk communication. Natural Hazards, 92 (3). pp. 1665-1686. ISSN 0921-030X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-018-3273-4

Abstract

Flooding is a serious hazard across Europe, with over 200 major floods documented in the last two decades. Over this period, flood management has evolved, with a greater responsibility now placed on at-risk communities to understand their risk and take protective action to develop flood resilience. Consequently, communicating flood risk has become an increasingly central part of developing flood resilience. However, research suggests that current risk communications have not resulted in the intended increase in awareness, or behavioural change. This paper explores how current risk communications are used by those at risk, what information users desire and how best this should be presented. We explore these questions through a multi-method participatory experiment, working together with a competency group of local participants in the town of Corbridge, Northumberland, the UK. Our research demonstrates that current risk communications fail to meet user needs for information in the period before a flood event, leaving users unsure of what will happen, or how best to respond. We show that participants want information on when and how a flooding may occur (flood dynamics), so that they can understand their risk and feel in control of their decisions on how to respond. We also present four prototypes which translate these information needs into new approaches to communicating flood risk. Developed by the research participants, these proposals meet their information needs, increase their flood literacy and develop their response capacity. The findings of the research have implications for how we design and develop future flood communications, but also for how we envisage the role of flood communications in developing resilience at a community level.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: Funding This work was supported by the Natural Environments Research Council [Grant Number NE/L002590/1]. Data presented in this manuscript can be obtained by contacting ER.
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2021 15:11
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 15:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/47231

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