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e-Mini Learning January 2023
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Early warning and anticipatory actions

In March 2022, during the world meteorological day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres reminded us that “Early warnings and action save lives”.

Anticipatory actions are the measures taken before a crisis to reduce or prevent the impacts of an event. Activities are led based on the predictions or alerts concerning an event that might escalate into a crisis, this allows disaster risk reduction actors and communities to act before a disaster occurs. Therefore, instead of only reacting to a crisis once it has already happened, early action saves time and can effectively reduce the impacts of a disaster.

In the midst of the cyclonic season in the Indian Ocean islands, we invite you to review or discover the tools and guiding principles of early warning and action through selected resources produced by UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and by the Red-Cross and Red-Crescent movement. These resources will allow you to get familiar with the notions and definitions of early action as well as their adaptation for community preparedness.


Community-based early warning systems -

Key practices

Level : beginner, risk reduction practionners

Duration : open

Type : Guidelines

Languages : English, French, Portuguese.
Description :
Early warning and anticipatory actions are central to limiting the loss of lives and livelihoods as a result of hazards and disasters. This tool developed by United Nations agencies (FAO, OCHA, UN Habitat) in collaboration with COOPI, demonstrates how EWS has evolved from a centralized process to becoming a system that blends technology and local knowledge and experiences to enhance complementarity and become more people-centered, and therefore have a greater impact on the ground. A bibliography and practical tools are available in the annexes such as operational guidelines or community level exercises.

Sources : FAO, OCHA, UN Habitat, COOPI.


Community early warning systems - Guiding principles

This document developed by IFRC provides an overview of successful practices from the field for the disaster risk reduction/management practitioners interested in early warning and action.

What is anticipatory action ? (Video)

Capture video
This IFRC video offers a definition of what is early warning and activities that can be implemented before a crisis occurs.

Factsheet - Examples of anticipatory action

This tool illustrates several examples of anticipatory action depending on the risk. The examples cover different sectors and modalities such as shelter, cash and voucher assistance, health, etc...


Video - WFP anticipatory action in Southern Africa : The World Food Programme (WFP) describe its program on anticipatory action aiming to protect fragile and vulnerable people against the impacts of drought in southern Africa

‘Early warning systems must protect everyone within five years’ - World Meteorological Organization Press release :
On March 23rd, 2022, the World Meteorological Day was dedicated to early warning and early action. The press release includes resources and guidanceon what early warning is and what type of early action can be implemented to reduce the impacts of an event.

Anticipation Hub - Database on anticipatory action in the world - Mozambique : The 'Anticipation hub' is a platform hosted by the Red-Cross and Red-Crescent movement. It offers a database on projects all around the world led by humanitarian actors implementing early warning and early action activites.

United Nations - International Day for DRR : In 2022, the International Day focused on Target G of the Sendai Framework “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030”. Find out more on this target and useful resources dedicated to humanitarian actors.
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