Early-warning messages about impending hazards that could or may cause disasters must reach all citizens including emergency response organizations, communities-at-risk, public safety organization, and others. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are an important and integral component of Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems (MHEWS), that manage and deliver alerting messages to those in affected areas and wider at national or international level which allows them to take action to mitigate the impacts of the hazard.
MHEWS has the ability to address several hazards and/or impacts of similar or different type in situations where hazardous events may occur alone, simultaneously, cascading or cumulatively over time, and taking into account the potential interrelated effects.
To be effective, a multi-hazard early warning systems should include the participation of different stakeholders and actively involve the people and communities at risk, in order to ensure that the system has an enabling environment, which incorporates the appropriate technology, regulatory and legal frameworks, adequate operational capacities, as well as to clearly defined roles and responsibilities for all participating agencies including communities. ICT accessibility is important in developing MHEWS. Vulnerable groups including persons with disabilities, older adults, people in marginal or remote areas without access or connectivity, women and girls, individuals with low literacy levels, indigenous peoples, migrants, are often in a higher risk during the disaster, thus their needs should be taken into careful consideration when disseminating the alerts through mixed channels.
It is essential to raise awareness about the importance of risk knowledge, facilitate public education, disseminate messages and warnings efficiently and ensure that there is a constant state of preparedness and that early action is enabled.