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Saving Lives: Integrating Disaster Warning Systems in Thailand

Prone to natural disasters, Thailand has taken steps to improve warning systems to prevent further loss of life since the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. USTDA is proud to have played a role in Thailand's efforts that led to the purchase of more than 270 U.S.-manufactured warning towers and other weather forecasting and disaster response equipment valued at more than $15 million.

In 2005, USTDA funded a technical demonstration project for Thailand's National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC), the central point for receiving, monitoring, processing and relaying critical information on impending natural disasters. The demonstration project helped to integrate a wide variety of hardware computer systems, software applications and weather modeling systems that were donated following the tsunami.

Importantly, the grant also facilitated a U.S.–Thai exchange that has empowered the NDWC to operate a more effective and efficient warning system. Former Chairman of the Committee for the National Disaster Warning Administration Dr. Smith Dharmasaroja said, "These collaborations and relationships will certainly continue and step forward into multi-hazard warning capacity to help save more lives of the people of Thailand and the region."