Beyond Early: Decision Support for Improved Typhoon Warning Systems

Tina Comes, Brice Mayag, Elsa Negre


Warnings can help prevent damage and harm if they are issued timely and provide information that help responders and population to adequately prepare for the disaster to come. Today, there are many indicator and sensor systems that are designed to reduce disaster risks, or issue early warnings. In this paper we analyze the different systems in the light of the initial decisions that need to be made in the response to sudden onset disasters. We outline challenges of current practices and methods, and provide an agenda for future research.

To illustrate our approach, we present a case study of Typhoon Haiyan. Although meteorological services had issued warnings; relief goods were prepositioned; and responders predeployed, the delivery of aid was delayed in some of the worst hit regions. We argue for an integrated consideration of preparedness and response to provide adequate thresholds for early warning systems that focus on decision-makers needs.

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