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Learning from the past: historical perspectives and ‘success stories’ of DRR

3rd International ConferenceNatural Hazards and Risks in a Changing World
Addressing Compound and Multi-Hazard Risk


Annegret Thieken (Universität Potsdam)


Heather Murdock (Universität Potsdam)Marie-Luise Zenker (Universität Potsdam)

Recent extreme events, such as the flooding in Western Europe in July 2021 and many other events in the summer of 2023 in the Mediterraineans, took people and institutions by surprise, leaving a trail of immense destruction in their wake.  These events have underlined the critical importance of enhancing our forecasting, warning, and response systems. Furthermore, they revealed weaknesses in our monitoring data, which failed to capture the magnitudes of these events. However, in some places historic records indicate that events of similar magnitudes happened before continuous monitoring started.  This raises intriguing questions about the potentially cyclical nature of extreme events and their recurrence patterns. It also underscores the urgency of reevaluating our current risk management strategies in light of evolving climatic and environmental conditions. We invite contributions that dissect recent extreme events, including comparisons with historical data, to learn valuable lessons for the future. Contributions that evaluate different learning approaches such as serious gaming are welcome, too. Finally, success stories of how disaster risk reduction has been achieved are highly welcome.