World Disasters Report 2009 - focus on early warning, early action

World Disasters Report 2009 - focus on early warning, early action

Combating disasters: a focus on early warning, early action

This report focuses on two key aspects of disaster risk reduction: early warning and early action. The author states that the decline in injuries, loss of livelihoods and deaths from disasters over the past 30 years is, in part, due to the establishment and improvement of early warning systems. Advances in science and technology, in forecasting techniques and the dissemination of information are major contributors.
However, the development of a more people-centred approach is clearly essential to ensure that the warnings captured by satellites, computer modelling and other technologies reach at-risk communities and are then acted upon.

The report gives a more comprehensive explanation about the different interventions in disaster management and risk reduction such as:

  • An introduction to early warning systems for different hazards and early action
  • Early warning, early action - putting emphasis on linking early warnings with early actions. Early action works best when it spans a range of timescales, not just providing a more rapid response to a disaster, but also anticipating it days, hours, months, years and even decades in advance, and over time reducing the risk of a range of hazards.
  • Early warning, a people-centred approach. How individuals and communities can understand the threats to their own survival and well-being, share that awareness with others and take actions to avoid or reduce disaster
  • Food insecurity, what actions should follow early warning. A system of data collection to monitor peoples' access to food, in order to provide timely notice when a food crisis threatens and thus to elicit an appropriate response should be developed in order to mitigate the occurrence of the disaster.
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