The human health consequences of flooding in Europe: a review


Hajat, S; Ebi, KL; Kovats, RS; Menne, B; Edwards, S; Haines, A; (2005) The human health consequences of flooding in Europe: a review. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract

Floods are the most common natural disaster in Europe. The adverse human health consequences of flooding are complex and far-reaching: these include drowning, injuries, and an increased incidence of common mental disorders. Anxiety and depression may last for months and possibly even years after the flood event and so the true health burden is rarely appreciated. Effects of floods on communicable diseases appear relatively infrequent in Europe. The vulnerability of a person or group is defined in terms of their capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a natural hazard. Determining vulnerability is a major challenge. Vulnerable groups within communities to the health impacts of flooding are the elderly, disabled, children, women, ethnic minorities, and those on low incomes. There is a need for more good-quality epidemiological data before vulnerability indices can be developed. With better information, the emphasis in disaster management could shift from post-disaster improvisation to pre-disaster planning. A comprehensive, risk-based emergency management program of preparedness, response, and recovery has the potential to reduce the adverse health effects of floods, but there is currently inadequate evidence of the effectiveness of public health interventions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Keywords: floods, mental health, climate change, Europe, NATURAL DISASTER, OLDER ADULTS, RISK, EPIDEMIOLOGY, IMPACT, VULNERABILITY, DIMENSIONS, CHILDREN, CLIMATE, PLACE
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research (2003-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
Web of Science ID: 232950100018
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/6282

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