Resilience Glossary: A – E

Term

Definition

Source

Acceptability (of and FRe measure)

An acceptable FRe technology/system is one which is satisfactory and can be tolerated by all concerned with it.

SMARTeST

Accuracy

Closeness to reality.

FLOODsite

Ad hoc

Created or done for a particular purpose as necessary.

Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

Adaptation

A process of transformation that stresses the positive result of an interaction or a behavioural transformation between the individual and his environment.

SMARTeST

Adaptive Capacity

The ability to plan, prepare for, facilitate, and implement adaptation options.

FLOODsite

Aims

The objectives of groups/individuals/organisations involved with a project. The aims are taken to include ethical and aesthetic considerations.

FLOODsite

Aperture (Building Aperture)

Building aperture means any designed opening in a building to which a person may reasonably have access including but not limited to any door, gate, window, skylight, or hatch.

Defined Term

Appropriation

Appropriation is the act of taking possession of or assigning purpose to properties or ideas- ensuring that (a FRe technology or system) is suitable for one’s own use.

SMARTeST

Assessment

The action of establishing the nature, ability or quality of someone or something.

SMARTeST

Asset, infrastructure

An infrastructure asset is any long-lived resource that is operated as a system or network, such as a sewer collection and water supply system.

UFM

Assistance

The action of helping and/or providing help.

SMARTeST

Attenuation (flood peak)

Lowering a flood peak (and lengthening its base).

FLOODsite

Avoidance

A measure to keep (floods) away and/or to prevent (flooding) from happening.

SMARTeST

Awareness (of risk)

The awareness of risk means for an individual to realise and to accept to be vulnerable to a major danger associated with a hazard.

SMARTeST

Backflow valve (also known as return-flow valve)

A valve for preventing flowing liquid, as sewage, from reversing its direction.

Dictionary.com

Basin (river) (see catchment area)

The area from which water runs off to a given river.

FLOODsite

Beach over wash

Beach over wash can be defined as the flow of water and sediment over the crest of a beach that does not directly return to the water body from which it originated.

FLOODsite

Behaviour

The behaviour is the actual behaviour observed of an individual.

SMARTeST

Bias

The disposition to distort the significance of the various pieces of information that have to be used.

FLOODsite

Bioretention Area

Vegetated areas designed to collect and treat water before discharge via a piped system or infiltration to the ground.

FMMEP

Business interruption insurance

Business interruption insurance covers you for loss of income during periods when you cannot carry out business as usual due to an unexpected event. Business interruption insurance aims to put your business back in the same trading position it was in before the event occurred.

ABI

Capacity

“A combination of all the strengths and resources available within a community, society or organization that can reduce the level of risk, or the effects of a disaster. Capacity may include physical, institutional, social or economic means as well as skilled personal or collective attri­butes such as leadership and management. Capacity may also be described as capability.” (UN/ISDR, 2004)

UFM

Capacity building

Process that aims at creating a favourable context to develop and implement FRe technologies and associated measures.

SMARTeST

Capacity building of stakeholders

Resilience strategy devoted to promote the importance of the concept of “living with floods rather than flood fighting” on the microscale level, focusing on individual flood mitigation measures and increasing public awareness of flood hazard.

FMMEP

Capacity, adaptive

The ability of a society to adjust to uncertain future developments and catastrophic, not Frequently occurring disturbances such as extreme floods.  Adaptive capacity refers to a longer timeframe than coping capacity.

UFM

Capacity, coping

The ability of a society to reduce or absorb damage in case of a disturbance that exceeds the damage threshold.

UFM

Catastrophe

“A disruption of society that may cause a total breakdown in day-to-day functioning. One aspect of catastrophes, is that most community functions disappear; there is no immediate leadership, hospitals may be damaged or destroyed, and the damage may be so great and so extensive that survivors have nowhere to turn for help (Quarantelli, 1994). In disaster situations, it is not unusual for survivors to seek help from friends and neighbours, but this cannot happen in catastrophes. In a disaster, society continues to operate and it is common to see scheduled events continue.” (Tobin and Montz, 1997; quoted in Blanchard, 2005)

UFM

Catchment area

The area from which water runs off to a river, sewer or other draining entity. Instead of catchment, the term watershed is often used in the United States.

UFM

Certification

Confirmation of certain characteristics and quality of a product.  This confirmation is often, but not always, provided by some form of external review or assessment.

SMARTeST

Characterisation

The process of expressing the observed/predicted behaviour of a system and its components for optimal use in decision making.

FLOODsite

Citizen’s advice bureau

An independent charity where the British public can obtain free, confidential information and advice on an extensive range of civil, consumer, and legal matters

Collins Dictionary

Climate resilience

The Centre for Resilience will address any issues in and around the built environment regarding climate change mitigation and adaption – this will include specific information on flood resilience. This may include: increased rainfall; higher wind speeds; extreme cold; overheating; more frequent storms; and rising sea and river levels.

Centre for Resilience

Coastal Dune

A coastal dune is a ridge or mound of loose wind-blown material, usually sand, located on the landward side of the beach.

FLOODsite

Coastal Floods

Inundation of land areas adjacent to the coast by any type of waters and any cause.

SMARTeST

Coating

A thin layer or covering of something.

SMARTeST

Cognition

The conscious or unconscious process of deriving meaning from sensory data. So perceived risk, might be more correctly termed cognated risk.

FLOODsite

Community flood resilience plan

A written procedure for a community, of what to do in the event of a flood. This may encompass aspects such as where to go, who to call and what to do.

Centre for Resilience

Conditional probability

The likelihood of some event given the prior occurrence of some other event.

FLOODsite

Confidence interval

A measure of the degree of (un)certainty of an estimate. Usually presented as a percentage. For example, a confidence level of 95% applied to an upper and lower bound of an estimate indicates there is a 95% chance the estimate lies between the specified bounds. Confidence limits can be calculated for some forms of uncertainty (see knowledge uncertainty), or estimated by an expert (see judgement).

FLOODsite

Consequence (of risk)

The direct effect of an event, incident or accident. It is expressed as a health effect (e.g., death, injury, and exposure), property loss, environmental effect, evacuation, or quantity spilled.

SMARTeST

Contamination assessment

Analysis of pollution regarding sediment, soil and plant material.

FMMEP

Conveyance systems

A facility for transporting water.

SMARTeST

Coping capacity

The means by which people or organisations use available resources and abilities to face adverse consequences that could lead to a disaster.

FLOODsite

Correlation

Between two random variables, the correlation is a measure of the extent to which a change in one tends to correspond to a change in the other. One measure of linear dependence is the correlation coefficient p. If variables are independent random variables then p = 0. Values of +1 and -1 correspond to full positive and negative dependence respectively. Note: the existence of some correlation need not imply that the link is one of cause and effect.

FLOODsite

Cost Benefit Analysis

The process of assesses the relationship between the cost of an undertaking and value of the resulting benefit.

SMARTeST

Cost effective flood measure

A cost effective flood measure is any protection from flooding that provides an adequate level of protection for the economic cost of the implementation of the defence.

Centre for Resilience

Cost Effectiveness Analysis

Analysis of at least two or more alternatives in order to identify the alternative with the highest input/output ratio; The aim is to either achieve the maximum output, or the result with the minimum input or costs.

FMMEP

Critical element

A system element, the failure of which will lead to the failure of the system.

FLOODsite

Cyber resilience

Cyber Resilience is about the management—not the elimination—of risk. Not only is eliminating risk impossible, but it impedes agility; an environment with an acceptable level of risk supports innovation.

Symantec

Damage

A description of the value of social, economic and ecological impacts (harm) caused by a flood

FMMEP

Damage

All measures taken in order to avoid damage.

FMMEP

Damage area

Affected area in which a natural event has caused injury to people or damage to property.

FMMEP

Damage potential

A description of the value of social, economic and ecological impacts (harm) that would be caused in the event of a flood.

FLOODsite

Danger

Danger is an event or a situation which could have negative consequences or damage to individual, social groups and environment.

SMARTeST

Decision

Decision Support Systems (DSSs) are designed to make results available in such a way that decision makers, and other stakeholders that want to influence the decision-making process, have equal access to all relevant information.

These are computer-based tools that support individual decision-makers or groups in exploring different solutions for problems. They allow strategic alternatives for flood risk or flood event management to be defined and can rapidly calculate the effects of these alternatives for assessment purposes.

DSSs use databases, models and a graphical user interface to provide results in various graphical ways.

FLOODsite

Decision Support Systems

Complex decision support systems (DSS) facilitate the decision-makers to compare different options. A set of mathematical methods allows to balance different alternatives on the basis of certain criteria and valuations. Often a conglomeration of various methods is applied to assist factual and impartial decisions.

To solve spatial issues DSS often are combined with GIS applications (Spatial Decision Support Systems, SDSS). The Geo Information Systems (GIS) accomplishes the data management and enlarge a DSS by spatial analyses. An additional advantage is that input data are easier manageable and results can be mapped. The field of application is diversified. DSS are for example applied in flood mitigation planning.

FMMEP

Defence System

Two or more defences acting to achieve common goals (e.g. maintaining flood protection to a floodplain area/ community).

FLOODsite

DEFRA Community Pathfinder scheme

The DEFRA Flood Resilience Pathfinder Scheme was a government funded scheme that ran for two years from 2012 to 2015.

This was designed to develop community solutions that will improve the awareness to flood resilience, development of new improvements that are applicable to other areas and to improve the financial resilience of the community.

Centre for Resilience

Demountable defence

A demountable flood defence is a particular form of temporary defence that requires built-in parts and therefore can only be deployed in one specific location.

Environment Agency

Dependence

The extent to which one variable depends on another variable. Dependence affects the likelihood of two or more thresholds being exceeded simultaneously. When it is not known whether dependence exists between two variables or parameters, guidance on the importance of any assumption can be provided by assessing the fully dependent and independent cases (see also correlation).

FLOODsite

Depth maps

Maps that present the calculated water depth in flooded area with a given return period. As for instance; 10 years floods, 50 years floods, 100 years floods etc.

FMMEP

Design criteria

A set of standards agreed by the developer, planners and regulators that the proposed system should satisfy. (Balmforth et al., 2006 via Spekkers)

SMARTeST

Design event

Hypothetical event defined as the basis for the design of structures and/or activities to mitigate / eliminate the event’s potential for injury or damage.

FMMEP

Design objective

The objective (put forward by a stakeholder), describing the desired performance of an intervention, once implemented.

FLOODsite

Design standard

A performance indicator that is specific to the engineering of a particular defence to meet a particular objective under a given loading condition. Note: the design standard will vary with load, for example there may be different performance requirements under different loading conditions.

FLOODsite

Design system

Two or more defences acting to achieve common goals (e.g. maintaining flood protection to a floodplain area/ community).

FLOODsite

Detention Basins

Depressions used to capture storm water.

FMMEP

Deterministic process/method

A method or process that adopts precise, single-values for all variables and input values, giving a single value output.

FLOODsite

Dialog

formal talks between opposing countries, political groups etc.

FMMEP

Direct, tangible damage

Direct damages are those where the loss is due to direct contact with flood water, such as damage to buildings and their contents. These are tangible when they can be easily specified in monetary terms.

FLOODsite

Disaster

In case of an extreme event we are talking about a Disaster (= catastrophe). A disaster is a sudden and unexpected event which disrupt the functioning of a community or a society and causes widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses. Assistance from outside may be needed as the ability of the affected community or society to cope with may be exceeded.

FMMEP

Disaster resilience

Tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, droughts and famine all take unprecedented toll, not only on human life, but also on the built infrastructure. Rebuilding – with resilient reconstruction practices – following a natural or anthropological disaster, will be a key focus area for the Centre for Resilience.

Centre for Resilience

Discharge (stream, river)

As measured by volume per unit of time.

FLOODsite

Discounted Cash Flow

Discounted cash flow is a mathematical technique applied to financial and economic cost-benefit analysis which enables the comparison of costs and benefits occurring at different time by calculating a present value for each.

FMMEP

Dissemination

Dissemination of project information might mean telling a wider audience about a project and its results. This can enable organisations to learn from others’ experience and good practice. In connection with flood management dissemination activities aim for a systematic distribution of flood related information or knowledge through a variety of ways to potential beneficiaries. The purpose of a dissemination activity is to assure that information and/or knowledge supports the process of decision making or taking specific actions. Above all, information and/or knowledge has to be available to those who can most benefit from it. In this spirit dissemination goes well beyond simply making research available through the traditional types of journal publication and academic conference presentations. It involves a process of extracting the main messages or key implications derived from research results and communicating them to targeted groups of decision makers and other stakeholders in a way that encourages them to factor the research implications into their work. Face-to-face communication is encouraged whenever possible.

FMMEP

Dissemination strategy

A Dissemination Strategy is a planned approach to informing a wider audience about the results of a project. Dissemination techniques are for example the holding of Focus Groups or so called “Interactive Learning Groups” as a type of face-to-face communication or the setup of websites to transmit information to intended audience and target groups.

FMMEP

Dry proofing

Water is prevented from entering the property by sealing the building or by using flood alleviation products (Garvin for Era-Net Crue)

SMARTeST

Economic Analysis

Economic analysis aims for the comparison, with money as the index, of those costs and benefits to the wider economy that can be reasonably quantified, including all social costs and benefits of a project.

FMMEP

Efficiency

In everyday language, the ratio of outputs to inputs; in economics, optimality.

FLOODsite

Effluent

Waste discharge that flows into a body of water

Centre for Resilience

Element

A component part of a system

FLOODsite

Element life

The period of time over which a certain element will provide sufficient strength to the structure with or without maintenance.

FLOODsite

Elevating the structure

Protection measure that ensures safety to buildings by raising the floor above the design flood level, a kind of flood proofing measures

FMMEP

Emergency management

The ensemble of the activities covering emergency planning, emergency control and post-event assessment.

FLOODsite

Enticement

Enticement is the process whereby society would arrive at a particular methodology to resolve a technical problem. Enticement is initiated by a driver or a need ‘to do’ something, for example response to a natural disaster. The response from society may be to apply available knowledge, experience and empirical data through a process of ‘cost benefit analysis’ or similar to arrive at the most appropriate scheme. The restraint in this sense describes how the society is now trapped into making this type of decision for this type of driver. Restraint is comprised of an inertia created by the complex involvement of stakeholders involved in the process, and includes, but is not limited to, the predisposition towards continuation, the magnitude of switching costs, organisational power and advantage, the principle of non-intervention and evasion of retreat.

FMMEP

Entrapment Effect

Describes how large and technological systems (for example a city) become embedded in decision making pathways which, though perhaps not irreversible are not simple to modify. It can often be the case that such decision pathways run counter-productive to the needs of the system. Entrapment is characterised by the following two concepts; enticement and restraint.

FMMEP

Entry point

The location at which water can enter a building

Centre for Resilience

Environmental competence

The ability to live in a changing environment and the ability to adapt and develop strategies to cope with the environment presented (Marchand, adapted by NL).

SMARTeST

Epistemology

A theory of what we can know and why or how we can know it.

FLOODsite

Ergonomics

The study of human performance as a function of the difficulty of the task and environmental conditions.

FLOODsite

Error

Mistaken calculations or measurements with quantifiable and predictable differences.

FLOODsite

Evacuation scheme

Plan for the combination of actions needed for evacuation (warning, communication, transport etc.).

FLOODsite

Event (in the context of flooding)

The conditions which may lead to flooding. An event is, for example, the occurrence in Source terms of one or more variables such as a particular wave height threshold being exceeded at the same time a specific sea level, or in Receptor terms a particular flood depth. When defining an event it can be important to define the spatial extent and the associated duration.

FLOODsite

Event documentation

Description of a recent event related to its quantity and quality.

FMMEP

Expectation

Expectation, or “expected value” of a variable, refers to the mean value the variable takes. For example, in a 100 year period, a 1 in 100 year event is expected to be equalled or exceeded once.

FLOODsite

Expected annual Frequency

Expected number of occurrences per year (reciprocal of the return period of a given event).

FLOODsite

Expected loss

Extend of damage to be expected for an event or a given period of time on basis of a particular / given scenario. (BUWAL, Risiko Analyse, 1999).

FMMEP

Experiential Learning Circle

The experiential learning circle is based on David A. Kolb ideas and theory on experiential learning, motivated by his interests in exploring the processes associated with making sense of concrete experiences – and the different styles of learning that may be involved. He created a model out of four elements: concrete experience, observation and reflection, the formation of abstract concepts and testing in new situations.

FMMEP

Expert panel

A group of experts from different disciplines who have been brought together to discuss a particular subject in order to solve a problem or suggest ideas.

FMMEP

Exposure

Quantification of the receptors that may be influenced by a hazard (flood), for example, number of people and their demographics, number and type of properties etc.

FLOODsite

Extrapolation

The inference of unknown data from known data, for instance future data from past data, by analysing trends and making assumptions.

FLOODsite

Extreme event

An event (within the context of flood risk) is an occurrence of one or more variables that may lead to flooding. These variables include heavy rainfall, river discharges and storm surges and are often described as ‘sources’ of flood risk or flood hazards and can also be referred to as ‘loads’ on natural or man-made structures.

FLOODsite


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