A Comparison of Factors Driving Flood Losses in Households Affected by Different Flood Types

G. S. Mohor, P. Hudson, A. H. Thieken

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Flood loss data collection and modeling are not standardized, and previous work has indicated that losses from different flood types (e.g., riverine and groundwater) may follow different driving forces. However, different flood types may occur within a single flood event, which is known as a compound flood event. Therefore, we aimed to identify statistical similarities between loss-driving factors across flood types and test whether the corresponding losses should be modeled separately. In this study, we used empirical data from 4,418 respondents from four survey campaigns studying households in Germany that experienced flooding. These surveys sought to investigate several features of the impact process (hazard, socioeconomic, preparedness, and building characteristics, as well as flood type). While the level of most of these features differed across flood type subsamples (e.g., degree of preparedness), they did so in a nonregular pattern. A variable selection process indicates that besides hazard and building characteristics, information on property-level preparedness was also selected as a relevant predictor of the loss ratio. These variables represent information, which is rarely adopted in loss modeling. Models shall be refined with further data collection and other statistical methods. To save costs, data collection efforts should be steered toward the most relevant predictors to enhance data availability and increase the statistical power of results. Understanding that losses from different flood types are driven by different factors is a crucial step toward targeted data collection and model development and will finally clarify conditions that allow us to transfer loss models in space and time.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWater resources research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2020

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©2020. The Authors.

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