Local Government Profile
Vorderhornbach - Austria
Gottfried Ginther
Size : 17,28 km² sq km
Population : 2012 - 261
Part Of : Tyrol (Austria)
Hazards : Avalanche, Flood
Our changing climate and the increasing dependency on technology are just two out of many factors that will strongly affect all future decisions made by public authorities and cause substantial changes in the risk landscapes around the globe. At the same time, the number of critical infrastructure facilities keeps skyrocketing. This combination leads to increasing social, economic and cultural vulnerabilities of countries and municipalities, their inhabitants and economies. The hazard profile of Vorderhornbach is dominated by the following issues:


In order to implement an efficient and cost-effective risk management (consisting of risk mapping, capacity building, measure setting) to prevent damages of urban infrastructure and the local economy as well as to reduce vulnerabilities and losses, Vorderhornbach actively participated in the area wide risk assessment project RiMaComm (Community-Based Risk Assessment in the Province of the Tyrol). For this purpose, the Provincial Early Warning and Emergency Management Centre together with the alpS – Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies developed a hands-on method for risk assessment in the public sector that follows the latest scientific findings as well the practical needs of public authorities. The result of this Public-Private-Partnership cooperation is a blend of expert- and community-based approaches that considers multi-hazard risks as well as the principles of local participation and cost efficiency.

With the aim of creating a sense of ownership, risk management experts visited Vorderhornbach and liaise with a set of municipality members who are often engaged in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) on a voluntary basis and dispose of a breadth of DRR know-how. Local volunteers have expertise in analyzing technical risks like fires, natural-hazard risks such as avalanches or floods and other man-made risks like blackouts or a disruption in fresh-water supply. In a workshop, the volunteers were brought together and drive the process themselves, guaranteeing an optimal participatory action this way. During the three-hour workshop, the participants were asked to contribute not only in their specific field of expertise, but also to think about potential parallel events and cascading effects. The workshop led to a deeper understanding of risk management processes and their relevance for social and economic growth as well as an increasing risk awareness of all participants.

Under the supervision of the alpS risk management experts, the group mapped all risks for Vorderhornbach and initiated the capacity-building process by establishing a local DRR team. This team is currently working on the implementation of technical and organisational prevention measures as well as increasing the preparedness of Vorderhornbach in case of an emergency. Follow-up workshops and meetings are organized to carry out the action plan agreed on, and all the workshops processes and results are captured in and supported by a dynamic knowledge repository, a software tool called ORTIS.

DRR in the Province of the Tyrol (AUSTRIA)