Human health in the flood risk management planning under the European Union Floods Directive: Pilot study in the Sava River Basin
Keywords:EU floods directive, flood risk management, health risk.
The EU Floods Directive (2007/60/EC) has the purpose to establish a framework for the flood risks assessment and management. It requires the implementation of coordinated measures on a basin-wide level for the reduction of adverse consequences to human health and life. However, mainly direct fatalities are taken into consideration in these plans. To develop more integrated and adaptive risk management and governance it is important to include both direct and indirect consequences. To define effective measures clearer understanding of the relation between floods and impact on human health is needed. We present a first attempt to provide a roadmap for the inclusion of health issues of concern to flood risk management within the Sava River Basin as an example. An overview of the potential flood effects to health issues was made and a roadmap plan was set up to analyse and map these flood risks. We concluded that indirect health effects can contribute significantly to the overall adverse consequences to health, and although relations are complex, a preliminary assessment could be made. Mapping of adverse consequences to health issues in the planning stages should lead to systemic insights and proposed measures in the prevention, protection, and preparedness while considering the characteristics of the river basin or sub-basins. By incorporating a health-risk-analysis in the planning process, health-oriented preparation is not only aimed at improving post-flood relief efforts, but to minimise the actual impacts and decrease post flood recovery time and costs.
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