heavy rain & flash floods

An understimated risk with increasingly severe consequences

The topic of “heavy rain events” is a project of the Integrated Risk Assessment workgroup of the Risk Management and Strategies council at HochwasserKompetenzCentrum (HKC) with the objective of creating a scientific basis and further development of strategies and protection concepts.

Among others, the requirements of the EU Flood Directive include mapping and demarcation of areas at risk of flooding and particularly those attributable to heavy rain events. At present, relevant hazard maps relate only to the flooding areas of flowing waters and completely ignore the area of such extreme events. Moreover, there are no consistent recommendations for individual damage mitigation and there is no information generally available concerning the insurability of damage due to flash floods, although it may be assumed that the damage potential can be reduced considerably at relatively little expense.

Because of its interdisciplinary position from a university, application-oriented, operational and insurance finance perspective, HKC has taken up this issue and set out specific project and research approaches necessary for the following points:

  • Hazard/risk maps
  • Operational concepts
  • Climate change & strategy
  • Individual protection concepts
  • Insurability