This study used evidence from a survey and published literature to identify and discuss gaps in communication, preparedness, and response stages to warnings issued by Flood Emergency Warning Systems (FEWS). The survey cited in this paper suggests that in the communication component, warnings, even when issued and disseminated with enough lead time, do not necessarily reach all the people-at-risk. Warning messages are often either incomplete, in a different language, or too technical for potential victims to understand. Coordination and communication between different actors of early warning systems for communicating warnings were found to be lacking particularly for transboundary river basins.
To achieve a significant reduction in flood disaster-related risks, and build resilience in all the communities affected by floods in line with Sendai targets for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), the following recommendations are put forward, among others (pp. 7-8):
- Tailor the warning messages in local community languages in a simplified manner.
- Establish a clear two-way communication of updated emergency preparedness plans, organizational structure, and institutional responsibilities across government, disaster management organizations, and communities-at-risk.
- Increase the local outreach and development of healthy understanding among the stakeholders, community engagement through improved strategical communications channels, and transformation of DRR policies into action on real ground.