Anne Jefferson has a look at last year’s Pakistan flooding that explores the intriguing question of how you get people to listen to forecasts. It turns out that they had forecasts in enough time to take action to reduce risk, but the forecasts were apparently ignored:
So the Pakistani government did forecast the flood – at least four days out – in plenty of time to get people in northern Pakistan’s valleys out of the way. The problem was not with the meteorological and hydrologic science either internationally or in Pakistan. Instead,disaster was ensured when flood warnings were not taken sufficiently seriously by regional authorities, media, and residents.