Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Flash Flooding and Organisational Resilience Capacity: Qualitative Findings on Implications of the Catastrophic 2017 Flash Flood Event in Mandra, Greece
On November 15th, 2017, a catastrophic flash flood devastated the city of Mandra in Central Greece, resulting in 24 fatalities and extensive damages to the built environment and infrastructure. It was Greece’s deadliest and most destructive flood event for the past 40 years. In this paper, we examine the consequences of this event to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in Mandra during the flood event, which were affected by the floodwaters to varying extents. In this context, we conducted semi-structured interviews with business owners-managers of 45 SMEs located in flood inundated areas and are still active nowadays, based on an interview guide that spanned 27 topics. The topics pertained to the disaster experience of the business and business owners-managers, knowledge and attitudes towards climate change and extreme weather, aspects of disaster preparedness and related assistance needs. Our findings reveal that the vast majority of the affected businesses experienced heavy damages in equipment and infrastructure or total destruction, which resulted in business interruption from several weeks up to several months. Assistance from relatives or friends helped for the damage repairs and business recovery, while state compensations were deemed insufficient compared to the extent of the damages. Most interviewees pinpoint flooding as one of the most critical risks, and many connect it with the climate crisis. However, they are either not willing or unable to apply property-level prevention measures in their businesses due to cost considerations or complex and cumbersome bureaucratic processes. In all cases, the business owners are fully aware of the flood hazard implications, and since the recovery from the event, they have engaged in basic mitigation measures and contingency plans in case of future flood events. Such plans include insurance contracts whenever possible (as the vast majority of the affected SMEs were uninsured at the time of the 2017 event) as well as simple relocations of critical equipment within their property. The study offers fruitful insights on latent drivers and barriers of SMEs’ resilience capacity to flash flooding. In this respect, findings such as ours, highlighting tensions that underpin behavioural responses and experiences, can feed into: a) bottom-up approaches for devising actionable and practical guidelines, manuals and/or standards on business preparedness to flooding, and, ultimately, b) policy-making for an enabling environment towards a flood-resilient SME sector.Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 308
 G. Halkos, A. Skouloudis, “Investigating resilience barriers of small and medium-sized enterprises to flash floods: a quantile regression of determining factors”, Climate and Development, 12(1), 57-66, 2020.
 A. Skouloudis, T. Tsalis, I. Nikolaou, K. Evangelinos, W.L. Filho, “Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises, Organizational Resilience Capacity and Flash Floods: Insights from a Literature Review”, Sustainability, 12(18), 7437, 2020.
 B. Ingirige, R.C. Russell, “Investigating SME resilience to flooding: the Braunton report”. Centre for Disaster Resilience (CDR), University of Salford, 2015.
 Munich Re, “Natural catastrophes 2016: Year of the floods. Topics Geo”, Munich Re, 2017.
 Munich Re, “Record hurricane season and major wildfires – the natural disaster figures for 2020”, https://www.munichre.com/en/company/ media-relations/media-information-and-corporate-news/media-information/2021/2020-natural-disasters-balance.html, 2021 (Online; accessed 14-June-2021).
 M. Diakakis, E. Andreadakis, E.I. Nikolopoulos, N.I. Spyrou, M.E. Gogou, G. Deligiannakis, N.K. Katsetsiadou, Z. Antoniadis, M. Melaki, M., A. Georgakopoulos, K. Tsaprouni, J. Kalogiros, E. Lekkas, “An integrated approach of ground and aerial observations in flash flood disaster investigations. The case of the 2017 Mandra flash flood in Greece”. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 33, 2019.
 C. Spyrou, G. Varlas, A. Pappa, A. Mentzafou, P. Katsafados, A. Papadopoulos, M.N. Anagnosou, J. Kalogiros, “Implementation of a nowcasting hydrometeorological system for studying flash flood events: The case of Mandra, Greece’. Remote Sensing, 12(17), 2020.
 E. Andreadakis, M. Diakakis, E. Vassilakis, G. Deligiannakis, A. Antoniadis, P. Andriopoulos, N.I. Spyrou, E.I. Nikolopoulos, “Unmanned Aerial Systems-Aided Post-Flood Peak Discharge Estimation in Ephemeral Streams” Remote Sensing, 12(24), 4183, 2020.
 M. Diakakis, G. Deligiannakis, Z. Antoniadis, M. Melaki, N.K. Katsetsiadou, E. Andreadakis, N.I. Spyrou, M. Gogou, “Proposal of a flash flood impact severity scale for the classification and mapping of flash flood impacts”, Journal of Hydrology, 590, 2020.
 PM. Kourgia, A. Argyraki, V. Paraskevopoulou, F. Botsou, E. Kelepertzis, M. Dassenakis, “Environmental Fate of Trace Elements in Depositional Sediments after Flashflood Events: The Case of Mandra Town in Greece”, Sustainability, 14(4):2448. 2022
 P.D. Speis, E. Andreadakis, M. Diakakis, E. Daidassi, G. Sarigiannis. “Psychosocial Vulnerability and Demographic Characteristics in Extreme Flash Floods: The Case of Mandra 2017 Flood in Greece.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 41, 2019.
 M. Diakakis, G. Deligiannakis, E. Andreadakis, K. N. Katsetsiadou, N. I. Spyrou, and M. E. Gogou. “How Different Surrounding Environments Influence the Characteristics of Flash Flood-Mortality: The Case of the 2017 Extreme Flood in Mandra, Greece”, Journal of Flood Risk Management, 13 (3), 2020.
 M. Diakakis, N. Boufidis, J. M. Salanova Grau, E. Andreadakis, and I. Stamos. “A Systematic Assessment of the Effects of Extreme Flash Floods on Transportation Infrastructure and Circulation: The Example of the 2017 Mandra Flood.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 47, 2020.
 T.D. Kanellopoulos, A.P. Karageorgis, A. Kikaki, S. Chourdaki, I. Hatzianestis, I. Vakalas, G.A. Hatiris. “The Impact of Flash-Floods on the Adjacent Marine Environment: The Case of Mandra and Nea Peramos (November 2017), Greece.” Journal of Coastal Conservation, 24(5), 2020.