In an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Professor Lothar Schrott emphasizes the importance of early warning systems in providing timely alerts to people regarding natural disasters. He sees the United Nation’s goal of ensuring that every person worldwide receives timely warnings of foreseeable dangers by 2027 as the right approach and as a means of pressuring nation-states to invest more in preparedness.
Schrott points out that natural hazards such as storms, droughts, and wildfires are occurring more frequently. The intensity and frequency of these events are increasing. Additionally, new hazards and risks are emerging in regions where they did not exist previously. Investments in early warning systems can save thousands of lives and avoid billions in reconstruction costs.
Germany has already seen increased investment in analog and digital warning systems, with mobile phones playing a crucial role. However, Schrott notes that an ideal integrated early warning system consists of four components: improved risk knowledge, monitoring and alert services, a functional communication chain, and effective responsiveness.
During the conversation, he emphasizes the importance of education in acquiring the competence to take appropriate actions. Schrott sees knowledge transfer as the key to effective disaster preparedness and stresses that it should start in childhood. However, he makes it clear that increased media dissemination alone does not lead to a change in public mindset. There is a need for further research and collaboration with communication scientists and behavioral psychologists to promote a positive risk culture and effective preparedness measures.
Professor Lothar Schrott concludes by emphasizing that early warning systems are a crucial part of disaster preparedness and their implementation is of great importance.
You can find the full interview here.