The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Publication A Primer on Flood Protection

Protecting property and building wisely
(date: August 2016)

Cover: A Primer on Flood Protection

Editor: BMUB Published: December 2016


6MB File meets accessibility standards

Over the past few years, extreme precipitation events in the central European region have brought about floods that have caused major economic damage. The impacts of the floods have been such that many of the affected households, companies and communities have been able to recover from them only with the help of outside assistance.

The areas affected by such extreme meteorological events have included the North Sea and Baltic Sea coastlines. Since 1962, when Germany's North Sea regions were battered by a devastating storm surge, a range of extensive technical measures have been taken, however, to protect population centres on the German North Sea coast against comparable floods. The flood protection options available to individual persons in coastal areas are very limited in comparison to the options available in inland areas. Nonetheless, the information in this brochure could still be of use for persons threatened by storm surges within receding-coastline areas (coastal sections that, in the absence of protective measures, continually change naturally) or within cities such as Hamburg and Bremen.

This primer on flood protection provides information and precise strategies that migh help prevent or reduce the harmful impacts of most of the flood events expected in the future. Its guidelines are especially relevant for owners and residents of residential buildings. In principle, however, all of the information it presents can also be applied to public and commercial areas and structures. That said, however, it must be noted that every commercial / production facility is unique, with special aspects to consider that are beyond the scope of this brochure.

Published by:
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Berlin
Public Relations Division

Edited by:
BMUB, Division B I 5 (Civil Engineering, Sustainable Construction, Building Research)
Frank Cremer

Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR)
within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR)
Division II 6 Construction and Environment
Dr. Bernhard Fischer

Ruiz Rodriguez + Zeisler + Blank GbR, Wiesbaden
Peter Zeisler

Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), Dresden
Dr. Thomas Naumann, Sebastian Golz

This publication is also available in German language:
>> Hochwasserschutzfibel - Objektschutz und bauliche Vorsorge



  1. Summary

    Part A: Aspects of precautionary flood protection

  2. Strategies for flood prevention and preparedness
  3. The legal framework under water law
  4. Area-related precautions and flood management
  5. Technical flood protection

    Part B: Information for affected citizens and property owners

  6. Potential flood hazards, and building precautions
  7. Design recommendations for flood-adapted construction
  8. Flood resistance of building materials and layered / composite constructions

    Part C: Flood preparedness and flood management

  9. Information provision
  10. Behavioural precautions
  11. Flood management and recovery
  12. Risk provisioning
  13. Additional materials

    Annexes: Precautions that private persons can take

This Page

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