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Improving accuracy, timeliness and access to flood early warning

Source(s):  International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Practical Action
Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center (Risk Center)
Zurich Insurance Group Limited

This policy brief highlights key actions and recommendations on improving the efficiency of early warning system based on the experience of Zurich Flood Resilience Program. Early warning is a key factor in building flood resilience. Systems that provide early warning messages not only allow communities to prepare and respond to flood events, they can also capture valuable information on the flooding process itself. Learning from flood events is vital to empower communities and local government to prioritise development investments in flood resilience building actions.

Key recommendations

  • Flood Early Warning Systems save lives. For poor and vulnerable people living in flood-prone communities, advance warning of floods can reduce losses, save lives and provide a secure foundation for long-term resilient development.
  • Rollout of flood early warning must ensure access to information for people who need it the most. SMS-based mass early warning to flood-vulnerable people is low-cost, effective and must be scaled out.
  • Utility and uptake of flood early warnings will be reinforced by their reliability, accuracy and timeliness. Systems need to provide up-to-date, accurate and understandable hazard information based on an effective combination of local (low-tech) and remote (medium/high-tech) monitoring approaches and must prioritize lead times.

Also available in Spanish: Mejorar la exactitud, la puntualidad y el acceso a la alerta temprana contra las inundaciones

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  • Improving accuracy, timeliness and access to flood early warning
  • Publication date 2017
  • Number of pages 2 p.

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