Flooding is the primary natural disaster risk in France. This past year had a dangerously high level of precipitation. Paris and Ile-de-France had the equivalent of three months of rainfall recorded in only 4 days – a record. The Seine has flooded the banks of the capital, reaching 6.10 meters.
According to the Assembly of French Departments, the county’s fire and rescue services have conducted nearly 12,000 interventions involving nearly 3,000 firemen.
Faced with these major risks, how the work can government relief be organized?
A Community Safeguard Plan (PCS) includes a means of monitoring and warning of the population. In the event of a major disaster, specialized means or national means may be triggered at ministerial level. For flood risk prevention, the city of Paris is under the aegis of the state. During the floods in Ile-de-France, rescue services were in great demand. Removable booms were deployed in the most vulnerable districts, public places were closed and accommodations were made available.
However, despite the national strategy to better educate, prepare, educate and inform the population, many households found themselves under water very rapidly.
How did the authorities warn the population of this flood?
Alerts rest under the authority of local and regional authorities. Not all communities have the same tools available. Some send alert messages via SMS and used social networks to inform the population. However, he vast majority use patrols and vehicles equipped with loudspeakers.
What lessons can be learned from these past flooding events?
The June event is an anamoly. However, according to the experts of the subject, flooding is becoming more common. A paradigm shift is needed. Vigilance, analysis and knowledge of vulnerabilities are all necessary and the implementation of prevention plans and appropriate action plans must therefore be studied, prepared and available throughout the country. Communities must be prepared to deal with any type of disaster – not just for floods. Natural, technological risks, and terrorism.
What could be the added value of a digital risk management model?
A population alert application will pre-alert the population and the public or private organizations concerned by the event. With smartphones, the advantage lies in the possibility of restricting the broadcast according to the geolocation of the people to prevent mass panic. Informed people can thus react and adapt the necessary measures to limit the impact and consequences of the risk. They may also inform potentially affected persons.
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