The German Research Centre for Geosciences supports private flood precaution

Private flood precaution can reduce damage. A web-based brochure produced by the GeoForschungsZentrum aims to help municipalities with risk communication.

Absolute protection from flooding is not possible. Private flood precaution can, however, considerably reduce damage to residential buildings and household contents.

The provision of information material taking into account local circumstances is often difficult for small communities. With a web-based brochure the German Research Centre for Geosciences – GFZ in Potsdam aims to support municipalities in providing qualified, inex­pensive information material for their citizens.

Studies indicate that local information is an important prerequisite for effective risk commu­nication. It therefore makes sense to integrate local communities as information multipliers. The brochure offers a simple, effective and flexible compilation of information modules. Flexibility is of decisive importance, as the threat of flooding is very specific for every com­munity.

Consequently, community-specific measures are necessary for adequate preparation. A web-based framework for interactive provision of community-specific information brochures has therefore been developed. It contains 14 modules covering differ­ent flood precaution topics. The modules can be flexibly combined with each other, as each module consists of independent, standardised, user-specific components. Text blocks, graphics, photographs or maps of the community can be individually integrated or replaced in the modules, allowing the brochure to be extensively adapted to the local situation. Furthermore, specific sections containing background information are static, to ensure that sound scientific knowledge is communicated to the public in an appropriate way. 

Distribution of the brochure is organised via a central web server set up. With the help of the web portal, communities can dynamically produce brochures and make them available for downloading in the form of PDF files or distribute them as a printed version. The contents of the brochure were developed under the leadership of the Hydrology section of the GFZ in cooperation with partners from industry.

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