Warning dissemination

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A flood early warning message is disseminated through different channels: Radio, flag, loudspeaker, flashing light and mobile phone.
© Julie Smith

The use of a combination of different audio and visual mechanisms to disseminate early warning messages is the best way to ensure everyone is reached in time.

To ensure an early warning systems is accessible:

  • Use audio signals such as bells, alarms, sirens, drums, radio/TV or loudspeaker announcements to reach people who are blind or have low vision.

  • Provide visual early warning with flags or lights flashing together with alarms and sirens and text messages on TV or by mobile phone to reach people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Combine text with pictures, gestures and the use of body language where necessary;

  • Combine oral information with pictures and sign language (or other forms of gestures or body language, as not all deaf persons know sign language). Whenever possible identify the preferred communication way of deaf and hard of hearing persons.

  • Present printed materials (posters, leaflets) with short messages in easy-to-read format. 

  • Use illustrations that include women, men, girls and boys with different disabilities, older men and women and always positive images.

  • Provide written information in Braille

  • Make sure early warning systems are installed, functioning and available in residential institutions or hospitals where persons with disabilities, children and older persons reside.

  • Involve community-based services which support persons with disabilities, older persons, children and other disproportionately at-risk groups in early warning systems.

Generally, including men, women, boys and girls with different types of disabilities to develop and test early warning systems. Analyse barriers in existing early warning systems and eliminate or mitigate them.

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