Monitoring and Alerting Systems supporting Business as Usual and Emergency Warnings


Globally, the impact of natural, technological and human-instigated disasters is steadily increasing. The Sendai Framework of Action calls for reducing the mortality, number of affected people, economic loss, and damage to infrastructure from disasters. Monitoring and alerting are a necessity and are key functions for saving lives and livelihoods.

Monitoring and alerting are essential components of an Early Warning System (EWS). EWSs detect or anticipate changes in the physical world (e.g. environmental, mechanical, financial, social) and provide information that can be used by both human and automated systems to mitigate the potential impact of those changes. Monitoring can be thought of as an application of decision theory using remote sensing, image processing, predictive analysis, behavioral science, human observations, and so on. Alerting informs the response mechanisms, of the warning decisions, to activate or inactivate procedures. Level of education, culture, gender, social and practices are some of the major influences on alert design, delivery, and response.

We encourage you to submit scientific papers that address monitoring and alerting issues  related to decision theory, gender and cultural dimensions, transborder warnings, opendata, operating procedures,evidence-based policy, low-cost innovations, improving situational-awareness, digital broadcast technology, drone (UAV) applications, big data, social media, so on and so forth.


The session intends to foster opportunities for paper presenters and participants to share knowledge and gain insights on the:

  • Complex arrangement of interconnected and interoperable organization, application, and network elements
  • Difficulties faced by researchers and practitioners in understanding and addressing the complex considerations
  • Multidisciplinary, policy, strategy, procedure, and sustainability factors
  • Domain, gender, geographical, cultural, and economical influences
  • Design, development, implementation, and evaluation principles
  • Special skills, experiences, and methodologies for engineering, integration, interoperating, and standardizing systems


  • Public education on disaster warning systems
  • Crisis communication semantics
  • Alerting protocols e.g. CAP, TWS
  • Earthquake hazards monitoring and alerting systems
  • Animal, crop, food and water health monitoring and alerting systems
  • Volcanic hazards monitoring and alerting
  • Severe weather warning systems
  • Flood monitoring and alerting
  • Tsunami warning systems
  • Public health monitoring and alerting systems
  • Finance and economy monitoring and alerting systems


Nuwan Waidyanatha - Coordinating Track Co-Chair
LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka
[email protected]

Graham Leonard
GNS Science, New Zealand
[email protected]

Peter Anderson
Simon Fraser University, Canada
[email protected]

Peter Kreft
MetService, New Zealand
[email protected]

Nuwan Waidyanatha

Nuwan Waidyanatha

Nuwan Waidyanatha is an emergency communications expert with extensive knowledge and fifteen years of experience designing and developing innovative products and services. Currently, Nuwan is part of a team contributing in the capacity of an ICT and emergency communication expert in upgrading the Fijian Tsunami Warning System that makes use of new-age communications (e.g. Cell Broadcast, DVB2, LEO Satellites, IOT) beyond tradition siren tower thinking. He lead a team in implementing the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) International warning standard and the Sahana Alerting and Messaging Broker (SAMBRO), all-hazard all-media early warning dissemination and cross-agency situational-awareness platform for improving institutional responsiveness in Maldives, Myanmar, and the Philippines. Nuwan has evaluated and provided recommendations for improving the National emergency communication plans and systems for the Governments of Nepal, Timor-Leste, India, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka. Mr. Waidyanatha is a freelance consultant running his own company Spot On Solutions and serving as a Sahana Software Foundation Board Director and a LIRNEasia Senior Research Fellow. He serves on the International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM) editorial board and been part of several other journal and conference scientific committees. Nuwan has published four book chapters, over a dozen journal articles, and more than 40 peer-reviewed conference papers. His education is in Industrial Automation (M.Sc - University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, 2005), Operations Research (M.A - University of Montana, USA, 1999), and Computer Engineering/Mathematics (B.A - University of Maine, USA, 1996).

Graham Leonard

Graham Leonard

Graham Leonard has wide experience in natural hazard monitoring, warnings and public alerting from both an operational (GeoNet monitoring team) and theoretical research standpoint. He has co-lead the national Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Working Group, tasked with implementing CAP for New Zealand. This includes improving consistency, speed and reliability in messages and reach across multiple hazards for the range of alerting options available in New Zealand. He is on the implementation working group for Cell Broadcast in New Zealand. He has completed the national Public Alerting Options Assessment in 2009 (MCDEM IS10/09) and a subsequent revision to include Mobile Apps and Social Media in 2014. Graham moderates the Red Cross Hazards App working group – the App has been adopted by all 16 regional CDEM Groups for public alerting. He has completed separate commissioned reviews of Auckland, Gisborne, Waikato, Wellington, and Bay of Plenty Regions’ public alerting options over the last decade, for tiered coverage of a diverse range of population groups, in a complex range of topographies, facing a full range of warnable Natural Hazards. Graham works with the Department of Conservation to conduct annual warning system drills and evaluation for the eruption detection and lahar warning systems at Ruapehu Volcano. He sits on the national Tsunami Working Group and lead the writing and update of the national Tsunami Evacuation Zones guideline (DGL 08/08 and 08/16), along with helping write the Tsunami Warning Sirens Technical standard (TS 03/14).

Peter Anderson3

Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson is Director of the Telematics Research Lab and Associate Professor of Communication at Simon Fraser University.  He has an international background in research and teaching in the fields of telecommunications, media, information systems and communication policy. His early work focused on community advocacy and the use of communication technology to support social change and, in later years, his focus shifted to supporting community disaster risk reduction and resilience building practices through innovative uses of emerging information and communication technologies. He is a pioneer in the design and implementation of many of the world’s first pre and post-Internet electronic information systems for disaster management, working in collaboration with the United Nations, NATO, scientific, government and non-government disaster management and humanitarian relief organizations, and is frequently called upon to assist during disaster events.

In January 2005 he traveled to Sri Lanka during the immediate aftermath of the tsunami tragedy to collaborate in the drafting of a concept paper for a new national multi-hazard warning system and, in 2006 and 2007, returned to Sri Lanka to work on the design and implementation of a community-based “last mile” hazard information dissemination system. 2015/17 projects include carrying out a comprehensive review of British Columbia’s West Coast tsunami notification arrangements and establishing Canada’s first in-field test facility for developing deployable systems to support a new national 700 Mhz LTE public safety broadband network.

He is the author of a number of publications and studies related to emergency communication, policy, networking and planning.  Professor Anderson also teaches accredited courses and supervises graduate research in communication policy and emergency communication. In 2013, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest Preparedness Society Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contributions.


Peter Kreft

Peter Kreft has been a meteorologist, at the Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited (New Zealand's NMS), since 1981. He has broad and deep experience and knowledge of operational meteorology in New Zealand -- forecasting, operations management, meteorologist training, mid-latitude weather systems, technical standards, meteorologist skills and competency assessment, forecast and warning methodology, management of the forecasting of major weather events, forecast techniques development and post-event investigation. His current role focuses on long-term strategic planning of weather forecasting capability, international- and national-level engagement, forensic meteorology and forecast verification. In recent years, he has been heavily involved in reviewing how weather information, particularly that related to severe events, is communicated to non-technical users of it.