Everyday, people around the globe are threatened by storms, floods, droughts, landslides, earthquakes and other natural hazards and suffer because of their social, economic, geographic and environmental circumstances.
Every year news highs are being recorded for economics looses from natural disasters and the human costs are even greater. Nearly a million over the last decade by disaster caused by storms, droughts, floods and earthquake. The loss of human lives and materials could have been avoided if the proper precautions and measures had been in place.
In case of Nepal, many poor groups were hit very hard by the annual flood and landslides, firstly by the loss of the family and homes and then by the loss of livelihoods. Reducing people’s vulnerability to natural hazards is an essential condition for reducing property and achieving the Millennium development goals. Policy makers are beginning to recognize that preparedness for natural hazards needs to be an integral part of national and international development policies and practices.
Generally it is the poorest people living in the poorer parts of the world who are most affected by national hazards. Disasters risks can be countered through approaches such as public awareness, campaigns, knowledge of hazards and vulnerabilities, community preparedness programs, early warning systems evaluation plans long term land use planning and environmental protection and the application of sound building codes. Through these means governments and communities can help people to become more resilient to hazards and their impacts and thereby reduce the chance that hazards events turns into disasters.
Early warning systems are a major element of disaster risk management and reduction. To be effective early warning systems need to actively involve the communications at risk, facilitate public education and awareness of risks, effectively disseminate messages and warning and ensure there is constant state of preparedness. Early warning systems help for public safety adds the protection of human lives. It is also useful for the protection of nation’s resource base and productive assets.
Conversely by reducing the impact of disasters a government avoids the financial and political burden of massive rehabilitation costs. Investing in early warning and other measures of disasters reduction is neither simple nor inexpensive but the benefits of doing so the costs of failing to are considerable.
The reduction of environmental losses can if properly managed and publicized, have both long term benefits to the economy and short term benefits for the administration in-charge. In many parts of the world, communities do not have effective early warning systems for the hazards they experience. Early warning systems need a strong scientific and technical basis. They can be linked to bring efficiencies and economics of scale to help secure the sustainability of systems for rare hazards.
In fact people centered early warning is a system, not a technology. Warning allows people to act in order to present hazards from becoming disasters. Effective early warning saves lives, reduces economic loss, reduces disruption in society and instills confidence and a sense of security in the public. It is also an important component of the foundation of a sound economy. Effective early warning system requires strong technical foundation and good knowledge of the risks.
They must be strongly people centered with clear message dissemination systems that reach those at risk managers and the public. Although natural disasters are not precisely predictable, they are most often generally foreseen able. In other words, there are many areas where the occurrence of floods is likely; one doesn’t necessarily know exactly when, but one knows they will occur sooner or later.
Many natural hazards can be foreseen of anticipated from past experience, the analysis of current patterns of land use or population distribution. Early warning systems as well as other disasters reduction application needs to new motivated and based within government responsibilities, especially since response to disaster may require exceptional executive powers for a specific period of time but it success cannot be accomplished without the benefits of widespread decision making and the participation of many others.
One of the effective ways of mitigating the impact of natural disasters is through the provision of state of the art warning services which enable communities to prepare for the approaching storm, flood or other natural hazards and to take those measures necessary to avert the loss of life and minimize the damage caused to property and the environment.
Although government is responsible to protect its citizens to the best to the best of it’s ability; they cannot do it alone; all sectors of society must contribute. Generally in case of emergency the private sector offers complementary resources and necessary infrastructure that are needed for disseminating warnings; civil society provides social infrastructure at the grassroots.
The use of already existing capacities is not only effective but ensures the continuity and maintenance for the system. The cost of the government of implementing nationwide warning systems is significantly less when other stakeholders contribute to the costs for maintenance, management and service. It is also important that there be adequate oversight of the performance of the vital functions associated with an early warning systems; this can only be provided when multiple players are involved.
Despite the improvement in early warnings technology and communication systems, natural disasters still cause death in a massive scale year after year. There are already many indications that the scale of disasters around the world is likely to increase further in future.
Relevant causal factors include global population growth the concentration of people and valuables in large conurbations, settlements in and industrialization of extremely exposed regions such as flood plains, the increased susceptibility of modern societies and technologies to natural hazards and above all global environmental and climate change.