Grosso, N., Dias, L., Costa, H. P., Santos, F.D. & Garrett, P. (2015) Continental Portuguese territory flood social susceptibility index.Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 15, 1921-1931. DOI:10.5194/nhess-15-1921-2015 (IF2015 2,277; Q2 Geosciences, Multidisciplinary)
The combination of human exposure, extreme weather events and lack of adaptation strategies to cope with flood-related impacts can potentially increase losses not only on infrastructure but also on human lives. These impacts are usually difficult to quantify due to the lack of data, and for this reason most of the studies developed at the national scale only include the main characteristics that define the societal or individual predisposition to be affected, resist, adapt or recover, when exposed to a flood.
The main objective of this work was to develop a flood social susceptibility index for the continental Portuguese territory based on the most representative variables able to characterize different influencing factors. This index is a component of the national vulnerability index developed in the scope of Flood Maps in Climate Change Scenarios (CIRAC) project, supported by the Portuguese Association of Insurers (APS).
The main results showed that the proposed index correctly identified populations less prepared to avoid flood effects or able to cope with them, mostly concentrated in rural inland areas with lower income and education levels when compared with the coastal region between Viana do Castelo and Setúbal.