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Preparedness against mobility disruption by floods

Arrighi, C., Pregnolato, M., Dawson, R.J., Castelli, F.
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.654 pp. 1010-1022
floods, fluid mechanics, hospitals, humans, planning, police, roads, urban areas, Italy
Civil responders currently have limited information available to them to support flood incident planning. A new generation of tools are emerging that produce more detailed understanding of flood impacts on people and accessibility during floods. These are typically applied in isolation, proving only a partial assessment of impacts. This paper integrates analysis of flood hydraulics, transport accessibility and human safety to explore the impact of flooding on pedestrians and drivers, and its implications on emergency routes and service areas. A reference scenario, developed and used by the local Civil Protection Agency, is applied to Galluzzo in Florence (Italy). Results shows that 37% of inhabitants live close to roads where they can be swept away, and 78% live in locations where parked vehicles can be transported by floodwaters. Furthermore, at its worst 22.5% of road extension is inaccessible; and all hospitals, fire and police stations cannot be reached, highlighting the need to take preventative action from the outset of an event that is predicted to lead to substantial inundation. Integration of multiple indicators of flood impacts, especially those most relevant to human safety, is fundamental to civil responders if they are to successfully planning and implement emergency response operations in urban environments.