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A real time early warning system can be an effective non-structural management tool. It enables authorities to start implementing contingency plans, such as evacuations of inhabitants and the mobilisation of rescue forces. Several countries have developed systems for flood warning at national, regional and local level that are connected with systems for initiating evacuation actions. For example, Finland has a real time web based Catchment simulation and forecasting system which provides information on floods and flood warnings. (see Box 5.7 for more details)

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