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Flood Warning in a Swedish Local Risk Management Context
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Centre for Climate and Safety. (Centrum för Naturkatastrofhantering (CNDS))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5420-4330
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Centre for Climate and Safety.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2992-9572
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Centre for Climate and Safety.
2015 (English)In: Disaster Prevention and Management, ISSN 0965-3562, Vol. 24, no 3, 383-396 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to explore how local early warning systems (EWS) for floods are established at the municipality level in Sweden. The study also aims to analyse the role of EWSs in a risk management context. The overall purpose of this study is to elucidate how and to what extent the adoption of local EWSs can generate value added benefits throughout the wider risk management process.

Semi-structured interviews have been conducted with supervisors at each municipality in order to depict how local EWS are established at the municipality level in Sweden. The interviews went through a content analysis with respect to theory on EWS and theory on the risk management process.

The possible effects from an EWS is not only reduced flood losses but also potential spinoff. The possibility of spinoff effects from the system, but also the mitigating effectiveness in case of a flood is largely dependent on the well-being of the organization and its risk management processes.

This study widens the understanding of the value of an EWS and that the organizational culture and state of risk management system has influence on the availability of such value. Identifying the potential added value from EWSs is important from a more general disaster risk reduction perspective, as it helps to further motivate implementation of proactive risk management measures. This knowledge can be of help to others who investigate the possibilities of investing in EWSs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015. Vol. 24, no 3, 383-396 p.
Keyword [en]
Flood Warning, Early Warning System, Risk Management, Natural Hazard
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-35289DOI: 10.1108/DPM-07-2014-0140ISI: 000356436200007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-35289DiVA: diva2:791291
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2015-02-27 Created: 2015-02-27 Last updated: 2015-07-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Flood Warnings in a Risk Management Context: A Case of Swedish Municipalities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Flood Warnings in a Risk Management Context: A Case of Swedish Municipalities
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

As a result of the United Nations’ International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (1990-2000), and recent high profile disasters, disaster risk reduction has climbed high on the international political agenda. There has been a paradigm shift from reacting to disasters towards preparing for and mitigating effects of disasters. Among the measures that have been highlighted on the disaster risk reduction agenda are early warning systems. In a Swedish context, there are needs for early warnings for various flood risk types. Municipalities carry big responsibilities for managing flood risks, and early warnings have a potential to facilitate decision-making and ultimately reduce flood losses.

The aim of this thesis is to describe how a variety of flood warning signals are used in the risk management process of Swedish municipalities, how they can contribute to the flood risk reducing process, and which factors influence the success of this. The thesis is based on two papers.

Paper I is based on interviews with three respondents from Swedish municipalities that have invested in and established local early warning systems. The paper shows that the possible effects from a local early warning system are not only reduced flood losses but also potential spinoff, the occurrence of which is dependent on the well-being of the organisation and its risk management processes.

Paper II is based on interviews with 23 respondents at 18 Swedish municipalities, who have responsibilities related to flood risk management, and one respondent who works at SMHI with hydrological warning. The paper shows that municipalities can use a variety of complementary flood warning signals to facilitate decision-making for a proactive flood response. This is however not systematically the case, and is dependent on available resources.

The theoretical contribution of this thesis is a development of existing conceptual models of early warning systems with respect to risk management and system contexts, and the use of complementary warning signals.

Abstract [en]

Following the United Nations’ International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (1990-2000), and recent high profile disasters, disaster risk reduction has climbed high on the international political agenda. Among the measures that have been highlighted are early warning systems – for Swedish municipalities who are responsible for managing flood risks, early warnings have a potential to facilitate decision-making and ultimately reduce flood losses. This licentiate thesis, based on two articles, aims to describe how a variety of flood warning signals are used in the risk management process of Swedish municipalities, how they can contribute to the flood risk reducing process, and which factors influence the success of this. The articles show that the possible effects from a local early warning system are not only reduced flood losses but also potential spin-off benefits, the occurrence of which is dependent on factors such as organisational culture and the functioning of the wider risk management system, and that municipalities can use a variety of complementary flood warning signals to facilitate decision-making for a proactive flood response which, however, is not systematically the case as benefits are dependent on available resources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2015. 50 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2015:19
Keyword
Early warning systems, floods, natural hazards, municipality, risk management, preparedness, disaster risk reduction.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-35336 (URN)978-91-7063-633-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-04-24, 1B 306, Universitetsgatan 2, Karlstad, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2015-04-07 Created: 2015-03-06 Last updated: 2015-04-13Bibliographically approved

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