Major disasters cause loss of life and serious disturbance to livelihoods. Integrative and innovative risk management is needed to reduce the impacts of such a disturbance. To pursue this, a better understanding of the current level of disaster risk management is indispensible. Following this line of thinking, the present work was intended to evaluate the various aspects of flood risk management in Japan using a recent case of major flooding that occurred last autumn as a result of a major storm. The focus was on the vulnerability assessment for the disaster-stricken area using various kinds of information including topographic features, land use, flood warning system, evacuation behavior, levee structure, insurance system and government support for recovery. Such an integrative assessment shed new light on vulnerability-generating mechanisms. In particular, it found that the disaster-stricken area has a high level of coping capacity related to flood disasters. However, the high level of coping capacity hinders the reduction of susceptibility to the impacts of flooding. Based on this finding, a new, simple but operational vulnerability management framework was proposed, which may help decision-makers prioritize actions for vulnerability reduction.
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