Cologne Flood Protection Centre on Recovery After River Flooding - Köln
Although flooding in Cologne is the city’s most regular catastrophe, it is difficult to forecast. More than anything else, a proper protection plan is therefore needed to be able to rescue and secure the city’s population in the event of an emergency. Cologne suffered its last big floods in 1993 and 1995 and it is very likely that another, possibly worse flood may happen very soon.
In the event of an emergency, the Cologne protection plan consists in evacuating people and goods, and providing protection from water through the use of protection walls, sand barriers and water pumps.
A number of hazard maps have been produced, which clearly list all the consequences and potential dangers of different water levels. There are different plans for different water levels, such as emergency and escape roads to be used. The flood protection office has also worked out a plan to calculate damage in financial terms, depending on water levels and the possible damage with and without flood protection.
One major task of the flood protection office is to warn the population, since awareness always fades after long flood-free periods. However, people can be only saved if they always know when and how to react.
Numerous means exist to maintain the population’s awareness of the danger : marks of past floods, film documentaries, thematic trips, exhibitions, …
One of the most important issues in flood protection is warning the population, because you never know exactly when the next flood will strike, you only know that sooner or later it will strike.