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Hazard Warning Systems: Review Of 20 Years Of Progress

J. Sørensen
Published 2000 · Engineering

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The United States has no comprehensive national warning strategy that covers all hazards in all places. Instead, public warning practices are decentralized across different governments and the private sector. Uneven preparedness to issue warnings exists across local communities; hence, people are unevenly protected from the surprise onset of natural disasters. Without changes in this situation, inequalities will grow larger, and the gains made in saving lives over the past decades may well be reversed. Since the first assessment of research on natural hazards was completed in 1975, there have been significant improvements in forecasts and warnings for some hazards but only marginal improvements for others. Forecasts for floods, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions have improved most significantly, and public dissemination of warnings has improved the most for hurricanes. However, a 100% reliable warning system does not exist for any hazard.
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