Early warning: widespread awareness

Published on: 06/03/2024
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Global organizations sound the alarm

  • Call to Action on Emergency Alerting

    The International Federation of Red Cross publishes a Call to Action on Emergency Alerting. Fichier:IFRC logo 2020.svgThe goal: 70% of the world's population lives in a country with at least one national-level Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) news feed. Today, the IFRC leads Chapter 4 of the EW4All Initiative on Preparedness and Response Capabilities, emphasizing the need for all stakeholders to understand, have the capacity for, and ensure connectivity for effective early warning dissemination. 


  • The EW4All initiative

    File:UN emblem blue.svg - Wikimedia CommonsAntonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General stated: “One-third of the world’s people, mainly in least developed countries and small island developing states, are still not covered by early warning systems... This is unacceptable”. He tasked the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) with spearheading action to present an action plan at the next UN climate conference. The “Early Warnings for All” Action Plan was launched at COP27 to accelerate the implementation of early warning systems in developing countries and territories subject to natural disasters.


  • Assessment of 30 countries

    WMO – World Meteorological Organization Logo Download pngThe World Meteorological Organization published a dashboard aimed at tracking the progress of the EW4All Initiative and conducted an assessment of the hazard monitoring and forecasting capacity of the 30 countries selected for initial support under the Early Warnings for All (EW4All) Initiative, reporting worrying in dicators like: “Almost a quarter (23%) of the 30 countries operate with less than basic monitoring and forecasting capacity for their priority hazards”; “Over 80% do not have an integrated MHEWS in place." And "90% do not have the capacity to produce forecasts and warnings for cascading impacts of occurring hazards.”


  • COP28 spotlight

    Global leaders led a session during COP28 on "Digital connectivity and technologies for Early Warnings for All Initiative", aiming to spotlight the commitments made by the mobile and satellite industries to support the multi-channel dissemination of alerts. The speakers actively recognized the critical role of public alerting systems concerning climate challenges, demonstrating a tangible dedication to global community resilience.


The telecom industry steps up to drive change

  • EWS guidelines

    The GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation published detailed guidelines on “Cell Broadcast for Early Warning Systems: A review of the technology and how to implement it” recommending a combination of channels: "Cell broadcast is a key channel to disseminate information. However, to successfully reach everyone at risk, multi-channel systems are essential. CB can and should be used in conjunction with other channels, such as location-based SMS (LB-SMS), radio, television and sirens. CB complements these channels, and the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) should be implemented across channels to ensure harmonisation."


  • $9.4B financial commitment

    Fichier:Itu-international telecommunication union-logo-blue.png — WikipédiaThe International Telecommunication Union (ITU) announced a new financial commitment of $9.4 billion by the mobile industry to help finance the digital future and leave no one behind in the digital age: “Universal meaningful connectivity is within our grasp," said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin. “Thanks to these new commitments, millions of people will benefit from accessible and affordable connectivity across the world”. This commitment aims “to bridge the digital divide and build an inclusive, safe and sustainable digital future for all." The ITU-D group focuses on emergency telecommunications: “ITU plays an important role in emphasizing the critical role of ICTs in disaster risk reduction and management, and supports its Member States, in the four phases of disaster management through the design of national emergency telecommunications plans.”


  • The power of partnership

    At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, GSMA dedicated a session as part of the Ministerial Programme on “Early warning systems: the power of partnership”No alt text provided for this image


Media around the world urge governments to act fast

Globally, awareness about early warning systems is increasing, particularly in the wake of tragic events, prompting a growing sense of urgency to enhance preparedness and response measures. Here are some recent examples related in the media:

Tech Labari

Ghana: “Ghana is overdue for an emergency broadcast system” claims Tech Labari. “On October 7th, 2017, an offloading petrol tanker at a petrol station caught fire resulting in a large-scale explosion at the site at the Atomic Junction at Madina in Accra. The incident was first reported on social media and later received attention in mainstream media. Unfortunately, there was also a spread of misinformation online along with actual updates from the incident.”

New York Times Logo and symbol, meaning, history, PNG, brandUK: “Heavy rain in U.K. causes hundreds of flood warnings and travel disruptions” titles The New York Times in January 2024. The UK’s Environment Agency (EA), at the forefront of delivering vital flood warning services for over two decades, has initiated a significant move to modernize its capabilities to power the next flood warning system (NFWS) – Cf. official notice.

File:The Guardian 2018.svg - WikipediaSpain: “Extreme weather shows need for early warning systems”, says Spanish minister Teresa Ribera, as reported in The Guardian. “The latest spate of natural disasters – from the floods in Libya, Greece and Spain to the wildfires in Hawaii and Canada – has further underscored the need for early warning systems to help the world cope with the realities of the climate emergency”, she said.

File:BangkokPost.svg - WikipediaThailand: We can read in the Bangkok Post that “the plan to establish an effective public warning system followed the shooting in the Siam Paragon shopping mall that left two people dead and five others injured on Tuesday.” Thai authorities are getting ready to deploy cell broadcast system for emergencies.


Intersec: your trusted EWS partner

Intersec is a global leader in national early warning and multichannel public alert systems, covering 30% of the EU population, 400 million people around the world, and supporting governmental agencies and mobile network operators in 50 countries. Intersec is a strong proponent of combining Cell Broadcast and Location-Based SMS to stay ahead of the crisis management curve. Through advanced algorithms, Intersec instantly computes and displays real-time population heatmaps to significantly enhance dynamic situational awareness, and triggers automated actions in line with each scenario ensuring swift and effective responses.

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