The task of flood warning divided into two parts:
- decisions to escalate or change the state of alertness internal to the flood warning service provider, where this may sometimes include partner organisations involved in emergency response;
- decisions to issue flood warnings to the general public.
The decisions made by someone responsible for initiating flood warnings must be influenced by a number of factors, which include:
- The reliability of the available forecasts and how this changes with lead-time.
- The amount of time that the public would need to respond effectively to a warning.
- The delay between a warning being initiated and it being received by the public.
- The need to avoid issuing warnings unnecessarily, because of the wasted efforts of those who respond and because a record of false alarms means that fewer would respond to future warnings.
- The need to avoid situations where a warning condition is rescinded only for the warning to be re-issued within a short time, again because of the wasted efforts of the general public and because such occurrences would bring the flood warning service into disrepute.
A computer system for flood warning will usually contain sub-systems for:
- flood forecasting;
- automatic alerting of internal staff;
- tracking of alert messages and acknowledgements received;
- diversion of messages to alternates where no acknowledgement received.
Read more about this topic: Flood Warning
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