Heavy rain events and their impacts, such as flash floods and other flooding, cause serious damage across Germany again and again. In summer 2016, numerous such flash floods occurred with catastrophic results. Houses were flooded, and many people lost their property. The insured damages alone amounted to more than a billion Euros. Climate model projects indicate an increase in such events going into the future. Especially problematic is the fact that, although it is relatively simple to define areas at risk of river or coastal flooding, heavy rain events and the flooding they cause can occur anywhere in Germany.
To be better prepared for events of this type in the future, the Federal Environment Agency has launched a project on heavy rain preparedness. Its goal was to develop approaches for improving preparedness for heavy rains at the municipal level. To this end, the project was determining and analysing the current state of heavy rain preparedness in Germany. Which municipalities are already engaging in structural preparedness measures? Who is working with heavy rain risk maps? And how can municipalities raise awareness among homeowners and others to the existing dangers? Building on this stocktaking, the project team analysed the need for actions to be taken to improve preparedness at local, regional, and federal level and is developing potential solutions that could contribute to improved preparedness.
The project was conducted by adelphi in collaboration with UP Transfer at the University of Potsdam and the German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV) on behalf of the UBA. adelphi was responsible for the project management and for coordinating and linking the partners’ activities. adelphi was further producing a systematic overview of available instruments and measures for heavy rain preparedness in Germany. It was also contributing, along with its project partners, to current political discussion processes on the topic of heavy rain.