Emergency Response System

tte establishment of early warning systems and associated preparedness and response systems in agricultural managements has been an important contributor to the progressive prevention and reduction of natural hazards in agricultural production. ttis is true for drought and famine-affected regions, as well as for developed countries where early warning systems, and preparedness, mitigation and risk transfer measures are generally well developed.

ttese two parts can be integrated into an Emergency Response System (ERS) in agricultural managements as an on-farm application for decision-making support system (DMSS) against agricultural hazards. At each stage ofERS, farmers should take appropriate actions for prevention and mitigation of risks by mobilizing available resources and applying strategies that are associated with relevant agricultural managements for optimal risk management.

Emergency response system requires scientific knowledge, including improved science and technology for information dissemination, ttey need the creation of data archives and information bases that are essential to decision making and to research on hazards and warning systems. ERS may enhance community capaci ties through participation processes, public-private partnerships, and recognition of indigenous knowledge and values oflocal farming community.

Key components of ERS against Agrometeorological risks and uncertainties can be summarized like any typical early warning system: (NEMA 2006). ttese key components of on-farm applications against risks include: preparedness/insurance, early warning, planning/vulnerability, coping strategy, response/action, counter-measures, recovery/relief, mitigation, outreach/education, and awareness.

• Knowledge on Risks and Uncertainties: awareness, recognition, monitoring: In coping effectively with agrometeorological risks and uncertainties, one of the most important strategies is how to make better use of knowledge on risks and uncertainties such as climate changes and variability, which includes observing, detecting, monitoring, assessing, projecting on earth system, then responding to current weather.

• Preparedness: strategy, planning, implementation for prevention, prediction: tte importance of preparedness to cope with risks and uncertainties has been getting more recognition in its effectiveness and cost-benefit advantage, as compared to the reactive practices such as response, recovery, and relief actions, etc. In order to be well prepared in advance for prevailing risks, it is prerequisite to establish most suitable practices at farm level based on applicable strategies against agrometeorological risks.

As a part of better preparedness to reduce the impacts of the variability (including extremes) of climate resources on crop production, both structural and nonstructural measures can be used, tte structural prepared measures can reduce direct intensity, duration, quantity of hazards in large, while the non-structural ones can contribute to minimize uncertainties of risks on a relatively long-term basis.

• Response: reduction or mitigation actions: How to respond to concurrent risks is also very critical on-spot action that farmers can take by themselves to reduce or mitigate hazards against normal farm management. For appropriate response actions to be taken farmers should get on time reliable, quantitative information about the environment within which they operate.

• Recovery: relief, insurance, alternatives, contingency production: In addition, the likely outcome of alternative or relief management options can reduce uncertainties in crop productivity when available to farmers. All through ERS, quantification is essential and computer simulations can be used to project feasibility of relief and recovery actions among alternative management and relief options. Contingency planning is an important part of such strategies, as ways must be found to avoid, reduce, or cope with risks.

• Evaluation: feedback afterwards, outreach: From knowledge and experiences through past risk management, farmers can learn invaluable lessons. To establish more promising ERS, any existing system needs to be implemented through feedbacks from farmers based on their experiences, ttis experience can also be shared with non-experienced neighboring farming communities through outreach programs for education and training, including general public concerned. It must be reflected to strategy developments during ERS implementation process.

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