Early warning systems for drought preparedness and drought management

Publication Date : 2000-01-01
Author : Wilhite, D. A.Sivakumar, M. V. K.Wood, D. A.
Countries :
Disaster Management Theme :
Disaster Type : Drought
Document Type : Research Paper
Languange : en
Link :

Abstact :

Drought is a normal part of climate and occurs in virtually all regions of the world. Recent droughts have illustrated the vulnerability of all parts of the United States to extended periods of precipitation deficiency. Drought preparedness planning has become a widely accepted tool for governments at all levels to apply to reduce the risks to future events. In the United States, planning has been employed by local, state, regional, and tribal governments. In 1982, for example, only 3 states had developed drought plans. Today, 30 states have prepared drought plans and other states are at various stages of plan development. Drought plans should contain three basic components: monitoring and early warning, risk assessment, and mitigation and response. A 10-step drought planning process illustrates how these components of a plan are addressed during plan development. Because of drought’s slowonset characteristics, monitoring and early warning systems provide the foundation for an effective drought mitigation plan. A plan must rely on accurate and timely assessments to trigger mitigation and emergency response programs. The monitoring committee’s functions are discussed as an integral part of the drought planning process. An example of a new climate monitoring product, the Drought Monitor, is presented to illustrate how climate parameters and indices are being used in the United States to produce a weekly comprehensive assessment of drought conditions and severity levels.