Saving lives with speedier responses to extreme weather
An EU-funded project aims to save lives by enabling civil protection agencies and society as a whole to respond more rapidly to extreme weather events, as well as better cope with related social, environmental and economic effects.
Globally, average annual economic losses from disasters such as earthquakes, flooding, storm surges, wind storms, cyclones and tsunamis are now estimated at around EUR 250 billion, some two-thirds of which is thought to be due to extreme weather.
Certain types of extreme events, particularly flash floods, storm surges, droughts, wildfires and heatwaves, have increased in frequency or magnitude in recent years, raising the level of risk to both human life and infrastructure.
In this context, tools incorporating the latest advances in observation systems and forecasting models are needed to help decision makers anticipate the occurrence of phenomena triggering extreme weather events and coordinate emergency operations.
Using cutting-edge technologies, the EU-funded ANYWHERE project has established a pan-European early-warning platform for identifying situations arising from various weather-related hazards that could lead to deaths and economic losses.
The platform can be adapted to provide customised decision support for civil protection authorities, emergency services and infrastructure operators in specific regions. This will allow them to bolster safety measures, perform rapid risk analysis and respond quickly and effectively during crises, as well as provide real-time information on rescue work.
In addition, ANYWHEREs tailored online services will raise preparedness levels among the general public so as to improve the effectiveness of peoples responses to extreme weather.
Demonstration and implementation of the prototype initially takes place at selected pilot sites. Following validation, the platform will be put into operation more widely. Cooperation with an SME and industrial network covering a range of sectors will help ensure market uptake in Europe and around the world.