by CEMS-Flood Analytics and Dissemination Centre
On 27 April 2023, the CEMS-Flood Analytics and Dissemination Centre provided an EFAS and GloFAS training to Duty Officers at the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) in Brussels. This session was part of a general training session for the ERCC on the different Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS) components that includes both On-demand mapping and Early Warning and Monitoring Systems.
The participants from ERCC and DEFIS (Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space) could join both online and in person. The CEMS-Flood part was presented by Svea Bertolatus on day two of the training, which focused on the Early Warning and Monitoring components for Floods, Fires, Droughts. The training on Floods (both EFAS and GloFAS) aimed at providing guidance on the products and the usage of the systems. In detail the following topics were covered:
- Flood types considered in EFAS and GloFAS
- Forecasting chain and notification criteria
- Forecast products
- Flash flood modelling
- Model performance and forecast skill
- Latest developments for EFAS and GloFAS
- Need for quick answers? - User Guide
Within the CEMS-Flood part, the participants were introduced to the service. Focus was put on clarifying how to interpret the ERCC overview (a summary of active notifications within the EFAS domain) and what to look at in the EFAS and GloFAS Map Viewers to understand the flood situation better. Therefore, the different types of products (Formal and Informal Flood Notifications and Flash Flood notifications), and how and why thresholds are used were explained to have some background knowledge on the hydrological notifications. The most relevant products available in the Map Viewers for both EFAS and GloFAS were presented. Furthermore, the model performance and forecasting skill was explained during the presentation of EFAS. With regard to GloFAS, the Global Reporting Tool (GRT) and its link to GDACS (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System) was explained. Also, current limitations of EFAS and GloFAS were mentioned as well as the updates to new versions of both systems to be implemented during 2023. The participants were mostly interested and asking questions on the different layers that are available in the EFAS and GloFAS Map Viewer.
Following the training, a discussion with the organisers from the ERCC revealed a need to enhance active participation in the trainings and to further improve the skills of the Duty Officers with regards to floods. It was suggested by the organisers to have a specific section for the ERCC within the Map Viewer, where only the most important layers can be activated to reduce confusion and being overwhelmed by the number of products and layers available in the Map Viewer. It will be investigated if this could be implemented.
Due to CEMS-Flood being part of the broader training on all available CEMS components, there was no time for a hands-on session, which should be part of an upcoming training next year. Overall, the training was successful, with a lot of different interesting and relevant presentations for the participants that should assist in interpreting the information received, and what options they have to improve the understanding of the situation.