Flood
warning systems

Flood
warning systems

Flood
warning systems

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Why to build flood warning systems

Floods, which are caused mainly by torrential rain, melting snow, or long-term rainy weather, pose a serious danger to both humans and their property. Although meteorologists have the ability to forecast such events with a reasonably high degree of precision nowadays, they still cannot reliably forecast intensive local rainfall. Regarding the vagaries of the weather, the only efficient and sufficiently flexible method of early warning against flash floods and prevention of damaging consequences is a warning system based on electronic sirens.

Why to build flood warning systems

Floods, which are caused mainly by torrential rain, melting snow, or long-term rainy weather, pose a serious danger to both humans and their property. Although meteorologists have the ability to forecast such events with a reasonably high degree of precision nowadays, they still cannot reliably forecast intensive local rainfall. Regarding the vagaries of the weather, the only efficient and sufficiently flexible method of early warning against flash floods and prevention of damaging consequences is a warning system based on electronic sirens.

Flood warning system description

The solution offered by Telegrafia integrates an early warning and notification system with one or several monitoring systems. The warning part of the system serves to give advance warning to inhabitants in an endangered area of the approaching danger in several stages, based on the information collected from a monitoring system. The notification part of the system simultaneously informs the persons in charge/first responders and urgently summons emergency management units. In order to detect and evaluate data about a potential danger, various procedures are used, depending on whether such floods are caused by long-term rainy weather and raised water levels or by torrential rain and subsequent sudden floods. Computer simulations can facilitate the process of localization of such potentially endangered areas.

Monitoring systems provide information in two manners:

  • By means of flood forecasts based on the information collected from specialised meteorological stations.
  • By the monitoring of the current hydrometeorological situation.

This solution of a flood early-warning system can work with information from meteorological stations, existing monitoring systems, or it can also make use of a special possibility of connecting monitoring sensors directly to the Pavian electronic sirens. Therefore, it is not necessary to build two separate communication systems and the communication between a control centre and sirens can be established by means of the single common channel for both warning and monitoring systems, thereby cutting the costs of building and operating such systems by investors.

The flood early warning system consists of:

  • A fully-automated, optionally unmanned control centre
  • Communication infrastructure
  • Monitoring sensors
  • The Pavian electronic sirens
  • Other integrated autonomous systems (such as the Amadeo PA system, an industrial early warning system, etc.)
Flood warning system

Flood warning system description

The solution offered by Telegrafia integrates an early warning and notification system with one or several monitoring systems. The warning part of the system serves to give advance warning to inhabitants in an endangered area of the approaching danger in several stages, based on the information collected from a monitoring system. The notification part of the system simultaneously informs the persons in charge/first responders and urgently summons emergency management units. In order to detect and evaluate data about a potential danger, various procedures are used, depending on whether such floods are caused by long-term rainy weather and raised water levels or by torrential rain and subsequent sudden floods. Computer simulations can facilitate the process of localization of such potentially endangered areas.

Monitoring systems provide information in two manners:

  • By means of flood forecasts based on the information collected from specialised meteorological stations.
  • By the monitoring of the current hydrometeorological situation.

This solution of a flood early-warning system can work with information from meteorological stations, existing monitoring systems, or it can also make use of a special possibility of connecting monitoring sensors directly to the Pavian electronic sirens. Therefore, it is not necessary to build two separate communication systems and the communication between a control centre and sirens can be established by means of the single common channel for both warning and monitoring systems, thereby cutting the costs of building and operating such systems by investors.

The flood early warning system consists of:

  • A fully-automated, optionally unmanned control centre
  • Communication infrastructure
  • Monitoring sensors
  • The Pavian electronic sirens
  • Other integrated autonomous systems (such as the Amadeo PA system, an industrial early warning system, etc.)
Flood warning system

Elements of a flood warning system

A fully-automated, optionally unmanned control centre

The core of a control centre is a computer equipped with the Vektra® software connected to the central communication unit, which controls sirens and data collection from monitoring sensors by radio, and other hardware components serving the notification purposes. The Vektra® software evaluates the collected meteorological data, detects the status of the individual sirens within the system and activates them, monitors the operability of the communication channel, and notifies the persons and institutions responsible in the case of emergency. The centre may optionally work in an unmanned regime/mode and can be controlled remotely by mobile phone, PDA, or radio.

Depending on the assumed development of emergency situation over period of time, it is possible to configure a variety of system responses:

  • Notifying of the responsible persons when first signals indicating a potential flood are registered, e.g. by phone, PDA or radio.
  • Preventive emergency population warning by sirens in an endangered area.
  • Sounding the alarm in the event of an impending emergency, etc.

Communication infrastructure and water-level monitoring sensors 

As a rule, a designated two-way radio channel is used as the main communication channel to control sirens and transmit data from monitoring sensors. In some locations where water-level monitoring is required, yet the power supply might be unavailable, the sensors used are powered by batteries, which can keep supplying power to sensors for several years. Alternately, batteries charged by solar panels can be used as well.

Pavian electronic sirens and Amadeo PA system

The Pavian electronic sirens or Amadeo  PA systems are used as terminal acoustic elements. They are designed in such a manner that the entire populated area is covered by the acoustic signal of a desired acoustic pressure. Due to the stringent reliability requirements placed on such warning systems, the majority of their features are employed, particularly their autodiagnostic functions. The interconnection between the flood early warning system and Amadeo PA system, or possibly other existing PA systems, allows delivering warning messages to members of the public in danger even more efficiently and precisely, which is often a great advantage when evacuating the area.

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