- Documents and publications
Certainty about communicating uncertainty: Assessment of flood loss and damage
This paper assesses flood loss and damage. Uncertainty in flood loss and damage assessment is inevitable due to the flaws in data accuracy and reflecting the simplification of a complex system that is inherent to any assessment. Understanding the level of uncertainty in flood loss and damage assessment would help decision makers to understand the overall loss in future events, improve planning and allocation of their resources to protect from and respond to a flood event. A common framework and standardized techniques for communicating uncertainty to decision makers are not readily available. This research has developed a framework for communicating uncertainty for flood loss and damage assessment to the end users based on the floods in Thailand.
The findings demonstrated how the proposed uncertainty framework could be used to identify areas within data management and transformation process that could benefit from improvements. Uncertainties due to human errors and inferences were identified as the most significant contributors to flood loss and damage data calculation. Subsequent decisions based on flood exposure and vulnerability information could be improved if uncertainties from these areas are minimized and the insights provided by end users are addressed. The other general type of uncertainty was irreducible, at least through science. This includes some human behaviour, including negligence, corruption, other priorities, politics and so on. The importance here is that a lot of effort goes into trying to reduce the uncertainty that is not amenable to reduction through standard science.