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Flood risk reduction through natural retention and physical protection: Flood protection forindividual locations

For individuals, business-owners and entire communities, risk-averse behavior needs greater encouragement. We need better and more examples to demonstrate why pre-event mitigation and risk reduction is important and needs to be favored over post-event relief. While money is an important aspect – risk reduction efforts generally pay off and are less costly than flood losses – there are many additional reasons why losses should be reduced or avoided. These include the distress suffered during and after a loss, the problems associated with temporary relocation when access to property is impossible or restricted, and when memories and possessions are destroyed forever. In order to incentivize risk-averse behavior and encourage people to protect themselves, including by increasing resilience after major floods, full compensation from the government in the form of relief should be avoided. To encourage people to become more flood resilient, in 2013, obtaining grants and subsidies to install local flood protection and use more resilient materials and installations became much easier. As much as 80 percent of the cost was borne in certain areas, e.g. in Bavaria, by the government. This needs to continue and such an approach could even be enhanced. Risk reduction efforts before the next flood occurs offer important steps toward reducing overall loss.

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