In Austria alone there have been 5,000 flash floods due to heavy rainfall since the 1970s. Researchers expect such natural hazards to become more frequent and more severe as a result of climate change. Maria Papathoma-Köhle, supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, is developing an index for the physical vulnerability of buildings in order to analyse the relationships between natural disasters and building damage in order to be able to develop appropriate measures for the future.