The European Flood Awareness System - increasing preparedness for riverine floods across Europe

Competency Framework

Peter Salamon provides an overview on EFAS (European Flood Awareness System).

Length: 40 minutes.


The disastrous floods in Elbe and Danube rivers in 2002 confronted the European Commission with non-coherent flood warning information from different sources and of variable quality, complicating planning and organization of aid. In response to this event, the European Commission initiated the development of a European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) to increase the preparedness for floods in Europe.

The aim of EFAS is to gain time for preparedness measures before major flood events strike particularly for trans-national river basins both in the Member States as well as on European level. This is achieved by providing complementary, added value information to the National hydrological services and by keeping the European Response and Coordination Centre informed about ongoing floods and about the possibility of upcoming floods across Europe. Since 2012 EFAS is running fully operational as part of the COPERNICUS Emergency Management Services.

This presentation will provide an overview of the following basic principles employed in EFAS: (1) the use of ensemble predictions in flood forecasting, (2) employing model climatology to derive return period statistics and (3) communication and visualization of uncertain results for decision making. Furthermore, the flash flood predictions as computed in EFAS will be presented.

Further information on EFAS can be found on

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