The prevention and/or mitigation of flood disasters requires continual research, numerous capital investment decisions, and high-quality maintenance and modifications of flood-control structures. In addition, institutional and private preparedness is needed. The experience of flood-control in North America has shown mixed outcomes: while flood frequency has declined during the last few decades, the economic losses have continued to rise. Recent catastrophic floods have also been linked to major structural interventions in the region. The flood diversions may cause harmful effects upon the floodplain inhabitants by influencing flood levels in areas which are not normally flood-prone. The increasing vulnerability of the floodplain inhabitants poses new challenges and raises questions concerning the existing risk assessment methods, institutional preparedness and responses to disaster-related public emergencies, and local-level public involvement in flood mitigation efforts.In the context of the catastrophic 1997 floods of the Red River Valley, Manitoba, Canada, this research focuses on two aspects of flood-related emergency governance and management: (i) the functions and effectiveness of control structures, and (ii) the roles, responsibilities and effectiveness of legislative and other operational measures. The study concludes that the flood-loss mitigation measures, both in terms of effects of control structures and institutional interventions for emergency evacuation, were not fully effective for ensuring the well-being and satisfaction of floodplain inhabitants. Although organizational preparedness and mobilization to cope with the 1997 flood emergency was considerable, their success during the onset of the flood event was limited. Lack of communication and understanding between institutions, a reluctance to implement up-to-date regulations, and minimal public participation in the emergency decision-making process all contributed to the difficulties experienced by floodplain inhabitants.
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- Risk Assessment, Emergency Preparedness and Response to Hazards: The Case of the 1997 Red River Valley Flood, Canada
C. Emdad Haque
- Springer Netherlands