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Towards high efficacy Early Warning in Europe

Early Warning Systems for natural disasters are the most promising means of saving lives, property and societal integrity in cases of impending natural hazards. They are expected to be critically required, even more in the future, as either new and hitherto unknown phenomena are expected to become substantial threats, or climate change brings increasing intensity, impact and frequency of adverse weather related phenomena, or cascading hazardous processes appear more frequently. Since the 1994 Yokohama World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Early Warning Systems are acknowledged as the most efficient elements of societal resilience, however the ‘State of the Global Climate 2021’ (World Meteorological Organization, WMO, 2022) concludes the very low implementation level and often extremely poor performance of existing systems. In order to foster the implementation and improvement of systems in all 193 Member States, the United Nations have declared the coming five years as ‘Years of Early Warning ‘. Based on a broad range of practical and organizational experiences from 1980s events in Japan, the Yokohama World Conference, the 1998 Potsdam Early Warning Systems Conference, several successful scientific and technical development projects financed by the European Union, this contribution delivers an architectural design structure as well as a comprehensive roadmap for Early Warning implementation in Europe. It encompasses the necessary steps in national and international policies, in diverse fields of legislation, in various involved scientific and technical disciplines, and in the harmonization of ethical approaches. The creation of a European Centre for Early Warning Information is suggested.


Andreas Nikolaus Küppers1
1The Potsdam Conventus
GeoMinKöln 2022