Why is this project necessary?

The impacts of climate change – including an increase in prolonged periods of heavy downpours, extreme precipitation rates and river overflows– are already affecting communities, economies, cultural heritage and public health across Europe.
The recent socioeconomic and environmental impacts of extreme flooding in Ireland, the UK, and central Europe are testimony to the disastrous impacts that such future hazards are likely to pose.
Managing inundation risk requires prevention measures in close cooperation with Civil Protection Authorities.
To that end, TRIBUTE (TRIgger BUffers for inundaTion Events) aims to help Europe-wide national, regional and local civil Protection (CP) authorities answer the following vital question in case of flooding: “Should I initiate an evacuation and how long do I have to evacuate safely?”.
The answer to the above question is unique per selected area, as not all sites are equally prone to flooding. Having an evacuation plan in place before a flood occurs can help avoid confusion as well as prevent injuries and damages.

How will we get there?

One technique used for assessing the time that an evacuation should be recommended is the so-called ‘trigger buffer’.
An evacuation trigger buffer is a pre-established boundary that circumscribes an area in such a way that when floodwaters (incl. waters, sediment, contaminated waters and pollution) coming from any direction cross the buffer, an evacuation is recommended.
TRIBUTE software tool that will be delivered as a web service and as a mobile application, will be fed with current estimates of downpour hazards from satellites and information on the vulnerability and coping capacity for the threatened site.
The service will have pan-European coverage and will be tested extensively in three pilot areas with different characteristics, including cross-border and multi-threat. TRIBUTE has rich training, dissemination and exploitation activities to promote the concept to the stakeholders.

Expected Results

Development of a software tool that will allow CP Authorities to delineate the trigger buffer zones for inundation events related to a specific sensitive site. This will switch from traditional event-centered to a new ground-breaking user-centered approach in disaster prevention modelling in risk management. Timely evacuation decisions supported by TRIBUTE are of immense socio-economic impact, as they save lives and valuable mobile property, and allow enough time for the disabled to be relocated safely, just to mention a few.
Assess relevant meteorological hazards from satellites and generate a European ‘reference dataset’ for these parameters. This is a wealth of information per se, but also it will be bridged with the above mentioned tool to provide the current conditions. Compared to existing practices, the data will provide consistent information for the whole Europe at a scale not available by in-situ stations, even in areas outside the station network, improving risk assessment and subsequently driving targeted prevention activities in short term.
Examine changes in climate parameters and in the precipitation regime and identify regions that are likely to undergo large amounts of rainfall changes. This information will be provided to Stakeholders as input for scenario building using the software tool and has a strong long term impact as the CP Authorities and Stakeholders can be prepared for the new situation coming with climate change that will make inundation events more intense and frequent in specific areas.