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Aerial view of flooding in Grand Forks, North Dakota, during spring of 1997. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey.)
Private organizations can provide a useful function in the dissemination of disaster information, especially in delivering such information to the general public.
Private for-profit organizations assist in delivering disaster information, and it is likely that this will continue to be the case in the future.
Government agencies possess much of the basic data that are needed for an effective disaster information system, but data are also valuable from private sources.
Disaster information user needs vary greatly. For some, highly processed data are most useful, while for others raw data are more useful.
It is important that users of disaster information be adequately trained.
As atmospheric and oceanographic conditions know no national boundaries, global disaster information is needed for natural disasters.
In some cases, early and progressive information can be used to optimize the deployment of personnel and resources in a potential high-hazard area prior to the actual occurrence of the effects of a natural disaster there.
Information products could benefit greatly from user input in defining process requirements for hazard-specific situations at the national (or global) scale.