WIT Press

The Role Of Flood Memory In The Impact Of Repeat Flooding On Mental Health


Free (open access)





Page Range

187 - 199




333 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


J. Lamond


A highly important but under researched impact of flood events is the long term psychological effect of the distress and trauma caused by damage and losses associated with repeated flooding of communities. As a part of the recovery process responders need to consider flooded households and offer support to mitigate against the stress of flooding. This research aims to consider how the risk of repeat flooding and flood memory can affect the needs of communities with respect to post disaster support. Previous research has identified a variety of influencing factors that affect the prevalence of mental health disorders in the aftermath of flooding. Using a structured literature review and novel conceptual model this research examines the role of flood experience and memory in the impact of flooding on mental health and the needs of flooded communities. It is found that the memory of previous flooding can influence future outcomes in a variety of ways, with some positive incentives towards actions that may result in lower damages in future events. These actions, that affect future trauma, have the potential to mitigate the impact of repeated flooding. Therefore appropriate post disaster needs assessment should not only identify vulnerable individuals but also take account of the risk of future flooding.


flood memory, PTSD, Anxiety, frequent flooding, flood impact, mental health, flood recovery.