Utilizing information communication technology in natural hazard early warning systems
Early warning systems are developing "from the ground up" to reduce the impact of flash floods in Medellín and nine other neighboring municipalities in the Aburrá Valley of the Colombian Andes. Warning systems have the capacity to expand beyond a focus on flash floods to a range of other applications such as water pollution. The time it takes for response agencies to issue on-time warnings to the population (via "loud speakers", radio and/or television when operational), is a limitation that may be resolved with better phone applications and social networking systems such as Twitter. The researchers stress that effective warning systems have multiple communication mechanisms in place should any one fail. As climate change is projected to make extreme events more frequent in some regions, effective warning system are a major step toward planning for major disasters.