Why many individuals still lack flood protection: new findings
The growing cost of floods and need for protection Recent natural catastrophes, including floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, wildfires, and droughts, have inflicted significant economic losses. The most recent edition of the United Nations Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction published earlier this year estimates that while improvements in disaster management have led to dramatic reductions in mortality in some countries, economic losses are now reaching an average of over USD 200 billion each year.1 During the period 2001 to 2010, insured losses from weather-related disasters averaged USD 30 billion annually.2 Of all natural hazards, floods are the most costly and have affected the most people.3 Several factors contribute to this trend: growing concentrations of population and assets in flood-prone areas, lack of appropriate protection, and failure of individuals to undertake preparedness measures. The level of hazards may be expected to increase as a result of changing climate patterns. To reduce losses (both direct and indirect, including recovery) and increase resilience, we need to be more proactive in deploying protection measures at both the individual and community levels.
This Risk Nexus provides new findings from our ongoing work that focuses on individual decision-making related to flood protection.
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