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Influencing Humanitarian Action by the Integration of Uncertain Forecasts



Englersaal, WSL Birmensdorf (video-link to SLF Davos)

Organized by:

Rosmarie Büchi


Andrew Kruczkiewicz, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Earth Institute, Columbia University, US-Palisades

Moderated by:

Massimiliano Zappa



Type of event:

Distinguished Lectures

Target audience:

everybody interested in this topic

Andrew Kruczkiewicz

Forecasting, on various timescales, has improved over recent years. While this trend should continue, it is important to acknowledge the current status of forecast use, as well the potential to strengthen engagement between forecast developer and those that may (or may not) take action.

In the humanitarian sector, there exists a unique set of challenges in using forecasts. These challenges lead to a gap between forecast availability and taking preparedness action before a potential disaster.

Further, different types of geophysical extremes generate different challenges. Floods are one of the most difficult types of geophysical extremes to both forecast and to take preparedness action in advance of.

With the Red Cross Red Crescent Forecast-based Financing (FbF) mechanism, there have been examples of humanitarian action being taken based explicitly on flood forecasts. While riverine and storm surge types of flooding have been explored within the scope of FbF, flash floods (and other flood types) present a unique set of challenges, from both the geophysical hazard forecasting and the humanitarian perspectives.

This talk will first explore the past 3 years of humanitarian early action based on uncertain forecasts. Second, I will present ideas on early action systems for flash flooding.