Adaptation strategies of flood-damaged businesses in Germany

Bianca Wutzler*, Paul Hudson, Annegret Thieken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flood risk management in Germany follows an integrative approach in which both private households and businesses can make an important contribution to reducing flood damage by implementing property-level adaptation measures. While the flood adaptation behavior of private households has already been widely researched, comparatively less attention has been paid to the adaptation strategies of businesses. However, their ability to cope with flood risk plays an important role in the social and economic development of a flood-prone region. Therefore, using quantitative survey data, this study aims to identify different strategies and adaptation drivers of 557 businesses damaged by a riverine flood in 2013 and 104 businesses damaged by pluvial or flash floods between 2014 and 2017. Our results indicate that a low perceived self-efficacy may be an important factor that can reduce the motivation of businesses to adapt to flood risk. Furthermore, property-owners tended to act more proactively than tenants. In addition, high experience with previous flood events and low perceived response costs could strengthen proactive adaptation behavior. These findings should be considered in business-tailored risk communication.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Water
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2022

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© 2022 Wutzler, Hudson and Thieken.

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