How Early Warning Systems Help Us Deal With Extreme Weather


In April 2021, an island nation of Southeast Asia Timor-Leste was affected by the worst flooding in its recent history. The floods affected more than 30,000 families and killed 34 people as a result of the storm.

Similar incidents have been reported worldwide, and climate change is on the rise. But in Timor-Leste, a new climate change project could help reduce the risk. The system focuses on building a national warning system, warning people in advance that such a catastrophic event will occur in the future. It can make a big difference — allowing people to protect themselves and their property.

Such practices are considered to be the most important means of adapting to climate change. Stefanie Tye, a climate specialist at the World Resources Institute, states: “We do not know exactly how long the climate has lasted for decades or more. “The reason is just part of the reality now that we need these systems to protect people and the environment.”

Early warnings can warn locals of things like approaching hurricanes, typhoons, or floods due to heavy rainfall, which progress even for a few hours can make a big difference, says Tye. They may also be able to provide information on a gradual process, such as a drought that is coming several months. “You use the system to inform people who may be affected by the incident, so that they can take appropriate action.”

In Bangladesh, for example, a country notorious for climate insecurity and its use of such weapons, hurricane warnings has greatly reduced the death toll in the last two decades.

It also works according to a 2019 Report from the Global Commission on Adaptation, and their value exceeds its value. A 24-hour warning of hurricanes or high winds could reduce human and property damage by 30 percent, the report found.

There are several aspects to making these systems work. The key is to ensure that accurate information can provide accurate and timely warnings, says Jochem Zoetelief, executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), which oversees the project in Timor-Leste. “People need to rely on prophecies and warnings, because if they are not accurate, and they happen often, you will lose people.” Early warning systems often set up equipment such as weather stations and radar machines, and strengthen hydrometeorological operations in the country.

But another important part is making sure that the findings reach the people most affected. Of course, there is no need to send an email alert if no one has internet access. Hurricanes can also disrupt communications, so backup storage may be needed even if people have cell phones. So every project should look at local events to choose the best way to spread the message, which can be anything from SMS messages or radio broadcasts to the person broadcasting with a megaphone in the community.


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