Some aspects of flood hazard assessment and response with particular reference to Cumbria
Tobin, G. A.
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
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There were two principal aims to this research: (i) to gain a better understanding of the authoritarian response to the flood hazard; (ii) to produce a predictive model of the residential response to the problem. Following an initial review of flood plain management techniques, three scales of spatial analysis were identified. I. The National Level: A broad investigation was undertaken into flood plain management programmes in Britain. This survey illustrated the narrow authoritarian response in the past. and the recent move towards non-structural measures. particularly forecasting and warning schemes. and highlighted the need for a greater consideration of social factors in flood plain planning. 2. The Regional Level: Regional level studies examined various flood types the severity of the hazard. and the response to the flood problem by the responsible organisations in the county of Cumbria. 3. The Local Level: Detailed local level surveys were carried out at Carlisle and Appleby to assess the significance of residential and commercial behaviour in affecting the extent of flood losses. An extensive questionnaire survey of residents and business-men was undertaken in the two research centres, to examine the behavioural aspects of the flood plain population in· terms of perception and awareness of the flood hazard, the degree of fear associated with flooding, the awareness of authoritarian alleviation measures, and the perceived effectiveness of individual adjustments to the problem. The evidence indicated that the perceived hazard is more important than the.actual hazard in detennining the individual response to the flood problem. The final research model suggested certain significant social characteristics, which could be used to predict flood plain behaviour and thus reduce potential flood losses. This is critical to flood loss reduction programmes, especially with the .trend towards non·structural alleviation schemes, since inefficient flood plain behaviour could significantly reduce the effectiveness of such programmes.