Optimal Flood Warning and Preparedness Plans

by Stuart A. Davis, US Army Corps of Engineers, Ft., Belvoir, VA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


This paper includes a framework for selecting the optimal investment in warning and preparedness activity. The primary factors which might influence the magnitude of cost and damage are described and their interrelationships are illustrated. An optimization model is presented to illustrate the minimization of flood damages and flood alleviation costs. The model expands on previous efforts by: 1) separate consideration of forecasting and preparedness costs, 2) by consideration of long term and emergency investments, and, 3) by the distinction between flood damages that are preventable by emergency actions and those that are not. Generalized estimates of variables in the model are critical for economical application in establishing the optimal levels for the key decision variables, including investments in the forecasting system, the response system, and the magnitude of emergency response.

Subject Headings: Floods | Disaster warning systems | Disaster preparedness | Optimization models | Investments | Benefit cost ratios | Forecasting | Emergency management

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