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Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS)

The Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) provides geo-spatial information to those involved in the management of natural, man-made or humanitarian emergency situations and crises.

The service consists of a mapping component and an early warning component. The early warning is underpinned by meteorological forecast information (primarily rainfall forecasts) which currently comes from ECMWF global forecasts and DWD regional forecasts. European Member States have appointed national contact points for the reception of data and information feeds from both components.

In England, the mapping component contacts are the Environment Agency (EA) and the British Geological Survey (BGS) and for the early warning component the Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC) – a partnership between the Environment Agency and the Met Office; based at the Met Office, Exeter.

The FFC combines the organisations’ meteorology and hydrology expertise to forecast for river, surface water, coastal and groundwater flood risk at a LLFA level.

With a dedicated 24/7 team based in one national centre, the FFC provides the best possible intelligence and support to existing Environment Agency and Natural Resource Wales flood warnings and the Met Office National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS). By combining knowledge and experience, the FFC has improved the ability to deliver countrywide longer lead time flood guidance and more accurate, targeted information to Category 1 and 2 responders. This will provide people in areas at risk of flooding with more time to protect themselves and their homes from the impacts of flooding.

European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) information is received routinely by the FFC and the operational hydro meteorologists at the FFC seeks to combine this advanced advice where appropriate with higher resolution, shorter range forecasts from national Met Office / EA systems.

During recent major flooding events in the UK, the EA received rapid mapping flood information used alongside forecast information from the FFC, in targeting emergency response to affected regions.

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