By University of Barcelona
Today we celebrate the #WorldMeteorologicalDay. On this occasion, the focus is the importance of early warning and early action. In the context of Climate Change, exposure to severe and extreme meteorological events is increasing. Early warning systems are essential to decrease the impact these events may have on our society. Good coordination between the different agents implicated in those early warning and early action systems (Meteorological services, hydrological surveillance, Civil protection, etc.) is fundamentally for its efficient and successful implementation.
According to the latest publications of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO, WMO’s Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes 1970-2019), the total amount of natural disasters has been increased by a factor of five for the period from 1970 to 2019, while the associated economic loses have increased seven-fold. However, thanks to the implementation of early warning systems and early action strategies, mortality has been almost reduced by a factor of three since the ’70s.
The engagement of citizens in the early warning chain is much needed in order to increase resilience and decrease impacts. Citizens can be involved by improving their understanding of risk awareness alerts or learning the appropriate actions to be taken before, during and after the risk situation. The I-Change project intends through their Living Labs, to work with citizens for the improvement of resilience against disasters and extreme situations.
Photo by Oriol Rodriguez Ballester