22 June 2015
IIASA, Laxenburg

Press Conference 
Understanding Flood Resilience: Are We Prepared for the Next Big Flood?

IIASA and Zurich Insurance will be holding a press conference on 22 June on the theme of flood and catastrophe resilience. Representatives from both groups will present information on global and regional trends regarding flooding (including climate change), as well as the scope and importance of preventive action.

© Nemar74 | Dreamstime.com - Worst Flooding On Record Across The Balkans In Serbia

© Nemar74 | Dreamstime.com - Worst Flooding On Record Across The Balkans In Serbia

On average, some 250 million people have been affected annually by floods over the last ten years; floods are the single most widespread and increasing disaster risk to urban settlements of all sizes. Zurich Insurance and IIASA, which are collaborating in the global Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, will present insights from their innovative forensic analysis of recent flood events (Central Europe 2013, Balkans 2014, Nepal 2014); their analysis identifies best practice and key gaps in responses.  As “after the flood is before the next flood”, discussants at the press conference will address the question of whether we are ready for the next large flood.

The conference will take place on Monday, 22 June, 9.30am in the Gvishiani room at IIASA, Schloss Laxenburg.

Event overview

Please note that the press conference will be held in German.

The conference will provide insights on the following topics:

  • The problem of flooding and its causes: facts and forecast
  • The role of climate change
  • The need for preventive measures: after the flood is before the flood
  • Flood Resilience Alliance
  • Catastrophe resilience: are we ready for 2023?

Addressing the conference:

  • Dr. Reinhard Mechler - Deputy Program Director Risk Policy and Vulnerability at IIASA
  • MSc MAS Michael Szoenyi - Flood Resilience Specialist at Zurich Insurance
  • Dr. Tilman Hengevoss - Head of Strategy & Operations, Group Public Affairs at Zurich Insurance
  • Dr. Gerhard Matschnig – CEO, Zurich Insurance Group in Austria

Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance

Launched in 2013, the partnership takes an innovative approach that links academic insights, humanitarian sector capabilities and our own skills and knowledge to enhance community resilience to flooding. 

The collaboration includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), with its 189 national societies; Practical Action, a UK-based international non governmental organization; and two research institutes – the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center.

The alliance focuses on floods because they affect more people globally than any other type of disaster, and cause some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses.  All members of the alliance share a common vision of enhancing communities' well-being by making them more resilient to floods. They seek to demonstrate the benefits of pre-event risk reduction over post-event disaster relief, and improve public dialogue around flood resilience.

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Last edited: 11 June 2015


Reinhard Mechler

Acting Program Director

Risk and Resilience

T +43(0) 2236 807 313

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313