RISK KAN is a Knowledge Action Network on Emergent Risks and Extreme Events that provides an open platform for scientific communities from across science disciplines and engineering working on extreme events, disaster risk reduction, and governance to exchange information, knowledge, and data and engage in collaborative research activities.

On the 29th of March, Prof John Handmer (SYRR and EQU) will give a talk on Improving Warning Through Community Action. Official early warning systems are supported by global monitoring systems, standards for a range of warning-related activities and alerts, agreements, and partnerships. The available technology for monitoring, analysis, and communication would have been all but unimaginable a decade or so ago.  In Australia, much effort has been devoted to national uniform standards and message protocols.  However, it seems that warnings are still often characterized by failure – although what constitutes failure is contested. Centralized systems can struggle with extremes, frequent events, and local priorities – this is hardly surprising as it is challenging for globally standardized systems to account for local needs. Another vulnerability of many warning systems is their many points of potential failure. These issues were well illustrated during the recent floods at the Australian town of Lismore. One approach to both the different priorities and to the vulnerabilities of many official systems, is to consider complementing the centralised approach with local or community warning systems. The presentation looks at a variety of warning systems to illustrate the issues, including some of the unresolved problems of individual protective action.

One of the working groups within RISK KAN is a group on Early Warning Systems for Systemic Risks, which organizes monthly webinars (previous recordings can be accessed here). 

Please register for the talk here

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