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Social Indicators of Vulnerability to Floods: An Empirical Case Study in Two Upper Tisza Flood Basins

  • Anna Vári
  • Zoltan Ferencz
  • Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 32)

Abstract

This chapter aims to develop indicators of social vulnerability related to flood impacts on the regional level. Impacts are seen here as a function of the exposure as well as the vulnerability dimensions. Because key vulnerability factors include several variables that cannot be found in statistical databases, such as preparedness to the hazard, mental coping capacity, social relations, and trust, an approach based on questionnaire surveys instead of only using statistical data from institutions was chosen. The analysis is based on an empirical survey conducted in the Bodrogköz area and in the Bereg region within the Tisza flood basins. We found that while the most important variables influencing impacts were the exposure level and the geographic location, the most important factors of vulnerability were found to be the following: health, education, savings, opportunities of taking loans, trust in the members of the community and in institutions, and perception of preparedness of institutions against floods. Based on the results we give some policy recommendations with regard to increasing the resilience of the exposed communities. These include: increasing public spending on education, strengthening social cohesion, introducing contingency loans so that borrowing is feasible also for the poorer communities and improving flood preparedness by providing relevant information for inhabitants.

Keywords

Vulnerability to floods Empirical survey Case study Upper Tisza river basin 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Vári
    • 1
  • Zoltan Ferencz
    • 1
  • Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of SociologyHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  2. 2.International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)LaxenburgAustria

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