Preparation for Natural Disasters
Natural disasters are often linked to extreme climate and severe weather events. Some occur on very short timescales, such as hurricanes and flashfloods, while others, such as droughts, can persist over a longer timescale. The impact of natural disasters falls disproportionately on developing countries and least developed countries as they lack the resources to invest in adequate infrastructure and effective long-term coping strategies.
In case of a natural disaster, early-warning systems can prevent much loss of life by alerting people to particular threats and a clear authority structure is essential through a National Emergency Response Plan and Early Warning System. Observations, data processing and communication are all required for the effective implementation of disaster-, evacuation-, and rescue strategies. Therefore, reliable communication channels are needed between NMHSs, national and local coordination offices and the public media, in order to inform the people affected. Following a disaster, evaluation and advice are available through the WMO and VCP partners for NMHSs and national emergency authorities.
Education and Training
WMO has long recognized the need for developing countries to train people who monitor, assess and predict weather and climate information. For over 50 years, WMO has been providing the global framework for meteorologists and hydrologists to exchange data and information to effectively communicate forecasts to end-users on local and global scales.
Equipment and expert services
Media weather presentation:
A perfect forecast of the weather is of little use if it is not communicated to the people who need to know about it. Also, it is essential to provide the information in local languages, with cultural references to enhance understanding. Through VCP, countries are being provided with facilities to prepare informative broadcasts on national television. These systems are also used to prepare weather forecasts for newspapers and websites.
Addressing climate variability and change:
To mitigate the negative effects caused by climate variability and change, gathering and understanding relevant data is essential. The VCP programme supports related studies and supports and educates NMHSs on adequate data storage and management. Setting up databases will guarantee standardization and therefore better sharing of critical information. It is also important to rescue and share historic data, mainly kept on paper files, through digitization. This data can be critical for a better understanding of climate variability and change.
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