|Title||Preventing flood related fatalities: a focus on people driving through floodwater|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Rae, E, Campbell, P, Haynes, K, Gissing, A, Coates, L|
|Publisher||Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC|
Floods are the leading cause of natural disaster fatalities worldwide. In 2013, 44 per cent of natural disaster fatalities were caused by floods (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 2013). Flash floods, in particular, have the highest average mortality rate per event (Jonkman, 2005). Approximately 180 people have died in Australia over the last 15 years (Haynes, et al., 2016; Peden, 2016). A large number of these fatalities occurred when people drove their vehicles into floodwaters, ignoring road closures and warning signs. Despite numerous campaigns on the dangers of floodwaters in recent years, people continue to put themselves at risk each year. In the June 2016 flood in New South Wales (NSW) alone, approximately 350 flood rescues occurred. Many of these rescues (approximately 50 per cent) included people stranded in or on the roofs of their cars, who may have otherwise been added to the number of fatalities. This flood event also resulted in the loss of multiple lives.