Ex post damage assessment: an Italian experience
Abstract. In recent years, awareness of a need for more effective disaster data collection, storage, and sharing of analyses has developed in many parts of the world. In line with this advance, Italian local authorities have expressed the need for enhanced methods and procedures for post-event damage assessment in order to obtain data that can serve numerous purposes: to create a reliable and consistent database on the basis of which damage models can be defined or validated; and to supply a comprehensive scenario of flooding impacts according to which priorities can be identified during the emergency and recovery phase, and the compensation due to citizens from insurers or local authorities can be established. This paper studies this context, and describes ongoing activities in the Umbria and Sicily regions of Italy intended to identifying new tools and procedures for flood damage data surveys and storage in the aftermath of floods. In the first part of the paper, the current procedures for data gathering in Italy are analysed. The analysis shows that the available knowledge does not enable the definition or validation of damage curves, as information is poor, fragmented, and inconsistent. A new procedure for data collection and storage is therefore proposed. The entire analysis was carried out at a local level for the residential and commercial sectors only. The objective of the next steps for the research in the short term will be (i) to extend the procedure to other types of damage, and (ii) to make the procedure operational with the Italian Civil Protection system. The long-term aim is to develop specific depth–damage curves for Italian contexts.