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Flood risk reduction through natural retention and physical protection:Include key infrastructurein planning

Critical infrastructure as well as locations with the potential for unacceptable secondary losses (resulting from contamination or other problems) need to be identified and assessed in terms of flood risks well before a flood occurs. This is necessary to avoid further, potentially disastrous knock-on events caused by floods, as well as loss of infrastructure. Risk maps taking key sites into account are needed, as are intervention strategies – planned and rehearsed – to protect against these structures failing or losing the services they provide. These include, but are not limited to, lifelines such as power and water distribution and sewage systems, road and rail infrastructure and telecommunication systems as well as sites with chemical, nuclear or biological agents that can pollute the environment, key public buildings such as hospitals, schools, buildings for responders such as fire departments, police, technical relief agencies (in Germany, the THW), etc. and many others. While it is easy to explain that in the past, many plants and factories were located near rivers that provided an easy source of transportation or power, today our society and economy are critically dependent on the operations continuing, and we also know that these losses can be avoided.

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