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Post-event measures: The role of the authorities –educate, guide and enforce

Education will add incentives to encourage flood risk awareness. Guidance is needed to allow people to adopt more risk-averse behavior, and learn what can] be done to avoid and reduce losses. While new regulations may be necessary to reduce overall flood risk, building regulations already exist that require ample risk reduction. The problem is that these are interpreted in a lax way, and there is a lack of willingness to enforce the rules: People fail to install flood-proof oil tanks, use materials that do not provide adequate flood protection, or (re-)install expensive equipment in the basement or on the ground floor. For example, we often find critical, sensitive machinery that could be easily harmed by floods in at-risk flood-prone industrial areas. Better education about regulations that serve to protect against floods is needed. The regulations need to be better enforced. There must also be a hard line taken on exemptions among those seeking to circumvent these regulations. Very often, risk-averse behavior provides many additional benefits and opportunities, especially if it is integrated into a project right from the planning stages. ‘No regret’ or ‘low regret’ solutions of flood resilience or resistance will provide benefits even when future scenarios are clouded by uncertainties. Even if we do not know exactly how flood hazards will increase, or how extreme precipitation events may unfold in future, the means to address these risks will still provide benefits.

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