Flood risk analysis and assessment: the case of the General State Archives of Greece

GIANNIKOU, Maria and KANAKARI, Ourania (2019) Flood risk analysis and assessment: the case of the General State Archives of Greece. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 152 - Preservation and Conservation.

Bookmark or cite this item: https://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2518
Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Flood risk analysis and assessment: the case of the General State Archives of Greece

Although the new building where the Central Service of the General State Archives of Greece moved in 2003 was constructed to operate as a model repository of the national archival asset, the economic recession has undermined the regular maintenance of the infrastructure, making the building envelope weak and prone to potential flood risk. On the other hand the preservation facilities, the fire safety and security equipment as well as the earthquake resistant construction are among the building strengths against other natural disasters and threats. The history of incidents described in the text and consisted of all the written reports so far, yielded benefits in terms of perceiving and managing risks; a basic practice of technical checks was endorsed and an integrated approach was finally adopted to enhance protection against flood. In this framework in 2017, a pilot project on flood risk analysis and assessment was applied to collections rare and unique, classified and well documented. The flood risk analysis process pointed out the causes and revealed visible as well as out of view sources within the infrastructure. For risk assessment, risk mapping was selected as a methodology which visualizes the value and vulnerability of the collections distributed in storage areas and their exposure to specific flood risks. The methodology is presented step by step and constitutes a proposal for Archives and Libraries since it addresses the problems specific to the materials of their collections. The paper discusses the extent of the risk zones in relation to the risk magnitude, the distribution of vulnerable value and the actions that could be taken to eliminate risk. It argues on options for both preparedness and response, from optimal to feasible solutions, stressing the importance of staff engagement in unfavorable circumstances.

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