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Flood disaster subcultures in The Netherlands: the parishes of Borgharen and Itteren

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  • Karen Engel
  • Georg Frerks
  • Lucia Velotti
  • Jeroen Warner
  • Bart Weijs

Abstract

The Netherlands knows a persistent threat of flooding. To adapt to this dangerous reality, the Dutch have cultivated what disaster research literature has labeled ‘disaster subcultures’ or a set of cultural (tangible and intangible) tools to deal with the recurrent hazard. While there is abundant attention for the way the Dutch ‘coastal’ and ‘low-lying’ communities deal with the recurrent threat of (coastal) flooding, less is known about the way the Dutch ‘high-lands’ deal with the yearly threat of (fluvial) flooding. This article presents the findings of an explorative research endeavor (2011–2013) aimed at discerning if the disaster subculture concept has contemporary relevance in the Netherlands, particularly with respect to flooding, and if so, whether applying this lens would reveal more about the nature of existing disaster subcultures. Because less is known about the Dutch ‘high-lands,’ we chose to look into the existence and attributes of disaster subcultures in the parishes Borgharen and Itteren, which experience a systematic threat of flooding. Our findings suggest that the disaster subculture lens is valuable as it enables the empirical appreciation of disaster subcultures, even in a small country like the Netherlands, and it unveiled elements of these neighboring parishes’ flood reality that otherwise might have gone unnoticed and that seem central to understanding these two parishes’ levels of vulnerability and resilience. It is our contention that the concept ‘disaster subculture’ makes a greater understanding possible of the cultural context from which vulnerability and resilience to specific and recurrent threats emerge. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Karen Engel & Georg Frerks & Lucia Velotti & Jeroen Warner & Bart Weijs, 2014. "Flood disaster subcultures in The Netherlands: the parishes of Borgharen and Itteren," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 73(2), pages 859-882, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:nathaz:v:73:y:2014:i:2:p:859-882
    DOI: 10.1007/s11069-014-1116-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jinan N. Allan & Joseph T. Ripberger & Wesley Wehde & Makenzie Krocak & Carol L. Silva & Hank C. Jenkins‐Smith, 2020. "Geographic Distributions of Extreme Weather Risk Perceptions in the United States," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 40(12), pages 2498-2508, December.
    2. Yusuke Toyoda, 2021. "Survey paper: achievements and perspectives of community resilience approaches to societal systems," Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 705-756, October.
    3. Ronald L. Schumann & Kevin D. Ash & Gregg C. Bowser, 2018. "Tornado Warning Perception and Response: Integrating the Roles of Visual Design, Demographics, and Hazard Experience," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 38(2), pages 311-332, February.
    4. Karen E Engel, 2016. "Talcahuano, Chile, in the wake of the 2010 disaster: A vulnerable middle?," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 80(2), pages 1057-1081, January.
    5. Karen E Engel, 2016. "Talcahuano, Chile, in the wake of the 2010 disaster: A vulnerable middle?," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 80(2), pages 1057-1081, January.

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