Research Area


PREVention, Information and Early Warning


PREVIEW (Prevention, Information and Early Warning) is an integrated project within the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission and involves 58 partners from 15 nations. In the project new and improved information services for risk management are developed in order to support European civil defence units and to assist local and regional administrations. It involves the application of the latest technology of remote sensing.

The risks result from direct impacts of events in the atmosphere (e.g. storms, intense rain, thunderstorms), their hydrological consequences (e.g. flood events, flash floods) or geo-physical events (e.g. earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, volcanic eruptions). Other risks are consequences of industrial activities (technological risks). Starting with the exact elicitation of user demands, new satellite-supported information technologies are developed. In the future these will be available for risk management on European, regional and local level (information services for cartography of the inventory, cartography of risks, risk monitoring, risk forecast and risk mitigation as well as the measurement of damage potentials). The fundamentals for PREVIEW are, among others, the projects of the 5th Framework Programme of the European Commission, like the project RISK-EOS, in which the IOER was also involved.

The final users who take part in the project, particularly the civil defence units, gave priority to flood risks, fires, storms and earthquakes. The IOER is involved in the topic of "flood" risks with the project unit "Short Range Plain Flood Laboratory". This project unit is concerned with the forecast of flood events caused by intense rain and their spreading. The forecasting interval is between 0-3 days. The IOER examines the exact requirements for an operational flood forecasting of the planning process and of the decision-makers (authorities responsible for water supply and distribution (Wasserwirtschaftsämter), district administrations and municipalities). Moreover, historical flood events are analysed and developments regarding land-use are assessed. The investigated area for the comprehensive analysis is the complete catchment area of the upper Danube in the Free State of Bavaria. Detailed investigation is conducted in smaller catchment areas, like that of the river Iller. In the project the following products are developed:

  • A high-resolution 1-3 day model for weather forecasting including the assessment of uncertainty
  • Short-term forecast model for water levels including the assessment of uncertainty
  • Recent cartography of land-use as input for hydrological modelling and the assessment of flood risks
  • Cartography of flood risks and analysis of damage potentials
  • A flood information system

Partners are, among others, the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research at the University of Karlsruhe, the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering at the University of Stuttgart, the Federal Institute of Hydrology, the Bayerisches Landesamt für Wasserwirtschaft and Infoterra Deutschland GmbH. The IOER does provide the basic knowledge for the development of the products and for their implementation. Furthermore, there will be a theoretical paper concerning the treatment of uncertainties in law and planning practice.

Run Time



Dr. Ing. Gotthard Meinel
Tel. +49 (0)351 46 79 254


Third-Party Funding

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung / BMBF)