Early warning system

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The set of technical, financial and institutional capacities needed to generate and disseminate timely and meaningful warning information to enable individuals, communities and organisations threatened by a hazard to prepare to act promptly and appropriately to reduce the possibility of harm or loss. Dependent upon context, EWS may draw upon scientific and/or indigenous knowledge. EWS are also considered for ecological applications e.g. conservation, where the organisation itself is not threatened by hazard but the ecosystem under conservation is (an example is coral bleaching alerts), in agriculture (for example, warnings of ground frost, hailstorms) and in fisheries (storm and tsunami warnings).


United Nations climate action early warning signs