Annex C. Glossary of Terms

  • Flood-risk governance: set of rules, practices, and processes (formal and informal) through which decisions for the management of flood risk are taken and implemented, stakeholders articulate their interest and decision makers are held accountable (adapted from OECD, 2015a).

  • Flood-risk management: holistic and continuous societal analysis, assessment and reduction of flood risk (Samuels and Gouldby, 2009).

  • Flood-Risk Governance Arrangements (FRGAs): institutional constellations resulting from an interplay between actors and actor coalitions involved in all policy domains relevant for flood risk management, including water management, spatial planning and disaster management; their dominant discourses; formal and informal rules of the game; and the power and resource base of the actors involved (Hegger et al., 2014).

  • Flood-Risk Management Strategies (FRMSs): approaches for dealing with flood risks that can be distinguished from one another by their focus on the probability of flooding, its consequences or on recovery after a flood has struck (Hegger et al., 2014).

The five stages of flood management considered in the Checklist are:

  • Flood anticipation or foresight: Activities and measures to look at what might happen to flood risk and its management far into the future. Flood anticipation or foresight generally takes the form of quantitative and/or qualitative estimates of the impacts of various drivers and responses on flood risk under different future scenarios (adapted from Evans et al., 2008).

  • Flood prevention or mitigation: Activities and measures to avoid existing and new disaster risks (UNISDR, 2015a). Flood mitigation is closely associated with “prevention”, except that it aims to reduce flooding rather than eliminate floods.

  • Flood preparation or preparedness: The knowledge and capacities developed by governments, professional response and recovery organisations, communities and individuals to effectively anticipate, respond to and recover from the impact of likely, imminent or current disasters (UNISDR, 2015a). Preparedness is sometimes incorporated into mitigation, but as it is behavioural and institutional rather than physical, it is considered here as a separate stage. It relates to accessibility of flood information, public awareness of risk, knowledge of what to do in an emergency, and the measures individuals and emergency authorities take to ensure they are prepared, like drills, putting in place household, municipal, regional and national emergency plans (and regular updating), supporting legislation and arrangements.

  • Flood response: Actions taken during or immediately after a disaster in order to save lives, reduce health impacts, ensure public safety and meet the basic subsistence needs of the people affected (UNISDR, 2015a). Flood response relates to the capacity (e.g. staff numbers) and capability (e.g. quality of technology and systems) of emergency management organisations to deal with a flood during or immediately after it occurs.

  • Flood recovery: Decisions and actions aimed at restoring or improving livelihoods, health, as well as economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets, systems and activities, of a disaster-affected community or society, aligning with the principles of sustainable development, including building back better to avoid or reduce future disaster risk (UNISDR, 2015).

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