Glossary E

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.

Source: FLOWS


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

Source: 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.

Source: FLOWS

Emergency management

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

Source: FLOODsite

Emergency response

Emergent responses to flood risk in small urban catchments, in this context, are such responses that at their inception are based upon the knowledge available at that time. As knowledge or understanding increases, the responses can be adapted to suit the dynamics of the new arrangement or reflect better current knowledge about the risks. Emergent responses are therefore expected to result in the overall approach (effectiveness) to flood risk being greater than the sum of the constituent parts (responses).

The key characteristic of an emergent response is that it is a process, and not a tangible concept or outcome in itself – this is precisely the same as the concept of sustainability and the pursuit of a sustainable society. Essential characteristics are adaptability and flexibility. The Overarching characteristic of emergent responses is that they cannot exist within a system held in the grips of ‘entrapment’.

Source: Ashley et al, 2007

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.

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.

Source: Ashley et al, 2007


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

Source: FLOODsite

Evacuation scheme

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

Source: FLOODsite

Event (in context)

these are 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.

Source: FLOODsite

Event documentation

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

Source: FLOWS

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).

Source: FLOWS

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.

Source: FLOWS

Experiential learning cycle

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.

Source: FLOWS


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.

Source: FLOODsite

Refers to people, assets and activities, threatened or potentially threatened by a hazard.

Source: Green et al (2004)

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