In November 2017, a high‐intensity storm caused a catastrophic flash flood that devastated the city of Mandra, in Greece, and led to the tragic loss of 24 people. This work examines the fatal incidents that occurred in relation to the characteristics of the surrounding environment, to investigate the role of the latter in flood mortality. Results show that certain mortality characteristics differ substantially depending on the setting:
- Outdoor incidents are more abundant in nonurban environments, in which victims exhibit mostly an active or risk‐taking behaviour against the imminent risk.
- Urban environments are characterised by a greater diversity of victim activities, higher percentages of indoor deaths, especially for older victims and more passive behaviours.
Findings are relevant in shaping policy and education programs aiming to mitigate risk:
- Improvements are needed in the road network safety including the redesign of critical infrastructure (e.g., bridges, ford crossings) and the installation of flood warning signs or barricades at dangerous locations.
- Execution of public awareness campaigns on flood risk and particularly on dangers inherent in driving through flooded roads and staying around floodwaters is necessary to influence the perception of individuals towards risk.
- Special awareness programs should target the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as their close relatives. These programs should focus on the dangers of living in basements and ground floors in flood‐prone areas, and the risk of entrapment in confined spaces, along with highlighting the value of self‐protection measures and household emergency planning.
- The search and rescue personnel should be trained accordingly with drills and training material that should reflect more realistic scenarios based on the type of environment.