UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Naif Alrehaili

Naif Alrehaili

Assessing the Emergency Planning Requirements for Responding to Flash Floods in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The International Disaster Database- Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (EM-DAT) reports that in the past 2 decades a total of 7,348 natural disasters occurred. Moreover, around 1.23 people died due to a natural disaster, averaging sixty thousand deaths annually, with wider impacts on in excess of 4 billion individuals. In economic terms, such disasters globally caused the loss of around US$ 2.97 trillion2 (UNDRR, 2020). Compared to the preceding 2 decades, the number and impact of natural disasters in this period has significantly increased: from 1980 to 1999, there were 4,212 reported natural disasters across the globe, with loss of life of around 1.19 million and impacts on more than 3 billion and US$ 1.63 trillion lost in economic terms. Between 2000 and 2019, flooding made up 44% of recorded disasters and impacted on 1.6 billion individuals globally, which was more than for any other kind of disaster. Moreover, flooding is the disaster type which occurs most often, averaging 163 occurrences annually. Much of the impact of these events can be prevented however, as there are realistic planning approaches to preventing many floods. The current study puts forward a framework for disaster planning within a Saudi Arabian context on the basis of emergency planning requirements. This framework is developed to apply to natural disasters any kind; however, validation of the framework is carried out in relation to flooding.