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  • Writer's pictureCarina Fearnley

An overview of Evaluating critical links in early warning systems for natural hazards

Updated: May 17, 2020

This is one of a series of blogs providing a brief overview of some of the key papers I have written in relation to early warning systems and disaster risk reduction measures:

Garcia C, Fearnley CJ (2012) Evaluating critical links in early warning systems for natural hazards. Environmental Hazards 11(2): 123-137 (doi:10.1080/17477891.2011.609877)

This highly cited paper (35 citations according to Google Scholar) reviews several case studies conducted over the last 40 years to present common emerging factors that improve links between the different components of early warning systems. This paper is unusual within the field, in that it focuses on looking at a wide range of examples trying to identify areas of weaknesses and strengths in early warnings systems rather than in depth case studies. The paper highlights the importance of flexibility and the consideration of local context in making early warning systems effective, whereas increasing levels of standardization within early warning systems nationally and globally might challenge the ability to incorporate the required local expertise and circumstances. This calls into question the publications and guidance recommended by the United Nations under their International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

Below is a key figure in the paper showing EWS with factors to improve the linking of sub-systems.

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