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Durham Research Online
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Rethinking flood risk communication.

Rollason, E. and Bracken, L.J. and Hardy, R.J. and Large, A.R.G. (2018) 'Rethinking flood risk communication.', Natural hazards., 92 (3). pp. 1665-1686.

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
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-018-3273-4
Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2018 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date accepted:11 March 2018
Date deposited:23 March 2018
Date of first online publication:19 March 2018
Date first made open access:No date available

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