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Drought in Action

Communicating About Drought

Drought communication is important not only for informing people about current drought conditions, but also for providing education and encouraging people to take adaptation action.

The Importance of Communication

Drought is a normal, recurrent feature of most climates around the world that is nonetheless complex and difficult to define, predict, and monitor. It is a "creeping" phenomenon that operates on a different timescale than a disaster like a hurricane, and impacts many sectors of the economy as it develops.

Because drought often emerges slowly, the damage it causes is gradual. People, particularly those who live in urban areas, may not even be aware that they're living in a drought-impacted area. Droughts do not typically damage a person’s private property in the same way that other natural disasters—such as tornadoes or hurricanes—do, which can reduce public concern about responding to drought.

It is important to communicate about drought to inform people about current drought conditions and to provide drought education. Effective drought communication encourages people to take actions—such as conserving water—that promote adaptation.

Public Perceptions of Drought 

Communication Strategies


Related Content

Drought Basics

What is drought? Learn more about the different types of drought, its impacts on communities, and the challenges of predicting and monitoring drought.

Resources for Teachers and Students

Want to teach your students about drought? Explore an assortment of learning resources for students and educators who engage with students from the pre-K to post-secondary level.