Public flood prevention policies and individual measures to protect against floods in France

Politiques publiques et mesures individuelles de protection contre les inondations en France

Richert, C. ; Erdlenbruch, K. ; Figuières, C.

Type de document
Communication scientifique sans actes
Langue
Anglais
Affiliation de l'auteur
IRSTEA MONTPELLIER UR G-EAU FRA ; IRSTEA MONTPELLIER UMR G-EAU FRA ; INRA MONTPELLIER FRA
Année
2016
Résumé / Abstract
In order to limit damage linked to floods, individual adaptation measures could represent an interesting solution. Indeed, people at flood risk may implement measures that are tailored to their specific situation, which could in turn be less costly and less harmful for the environment than public policies. However, in order to assess the importance of this type of behavior and in order to encourage people to protect themselves against flood risks, it is necessary to understand the mechanisms of adoption of these adaptation behaviors. The aim of this article is twofold: first, to gain a better understanding of the reasons of individual flood prevention, second to discuss the role of different public prevention policies that encourage or hinder the adoption of individual measures. Our empirical analysis is based on semi-structured interviews with a dozen of households and a survey of 331 households in the departments Aude and Var in France. We collected data on existing precautionary measures and the intentions to implement such measures, distinguishing between structural measures (e.g. elevation of buildings or of electric devices), organizational measures (e.g. create living spaces in upper floors), the decision to move out of flood-prone areas and behavioral adaptations (e.g. use meteorological service or avoid taking the car in case of bad weather). We also collected data on exposure, experience of floods, characteristics of housing, costs and perceived efficiency of precautionary measures, risk perception and attitudes towards public policies as well as socio-demographic features. Our analysis shows that flood experience and the perceived self efficacy to implement measures are most important drivers for the adoption of individual measures, next to homeownership. Respondents’ perceptions of flood risks and perceived consequences of floods as well as their attitudes towards risks and public flood prevention policies are important additional explanatory factors for people’s intentions to invest in precautionary measures. Moreover, we highlight the existence of barriers to the adoption of individual measures, which can be explained by financial or emotional burdens. Our results suggest that individual precautionary measures cannot be considered as substitutes for insurance policies. Moreover, the satisfaction with public flood prevention policies does not play a predominant role in the explanation of the adoption of individual measures. However, we show that regional effects are important which could be linked to the institutional context of flood prevention. Concerning public flood prevention, our analysis shows that the CatNat system does not (completely) crowed out individual action and can thus be complementary to individual measures. Public policies that are aimed at supporting individual precautionary measures could be designed in two ways: first, shortly after flood events, public support should be directed towards those actors whose flood risk perceptions and perceptions of potential consequences are greatest. Second, sustained public support after the crisis management is important and could be tailored to increase information on the efficiency of different precautionary measures and to decrease the financial risk that households take when investing in precautionary measures.
Congrès
3rd European conference on flood risk management, 17/10/2016 - 21/10/2016, Lyon, FRA

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