Early Warning System (EWS) is the provision of timely and effective information; allowing vulnerable communities to avoid or reduce risk. It is an integration of four main elements–risk knowledge, monitoring and predicting, disseminating information, and response. EWS is recognised as an effective tool to improve preparedness and response to natural hazards. Social benefits include mitigating loss of life and property while financial benefits include limiting the extent of damages caused by disasters through timely evacuation from vulnerable areas and taking mitigating measures, reducing the cost of disaster response to the state and reducing the cost of losses to citizens. DRR Policy 2012 emphasises the importance of EWS. It aims to reduce vulnerability and risk by identifying and monitoring vulnerability and hazard trends. It aims to create Multi-Hazard Early Warning capacity and strengthen disaster-preparedness and response capacity. National Multi-Hazard EWS Plan was prepared in 2012 by NDMA with JICA assistance. Its implementation period was 10 years, with a review after five years. The goals include optimum preparedness, timely warning for evacuation, emergency responses and rapid damage assessment. Four strategies have been identified for the implementation of the EWS plan. The first strategy focuses on strengthening disaster forecasting through projects to optimally utilise existing EWS (upgradation) as well as procurement and installation of new EWSs. The second strategy aims at preparing hazard maps for vulnerable locations to serve as the basis for the formulation of the localised disaster management plan. The third strategy relates to strengthening early warning dissemination systems as a communication system is essential for the prompt dissemination of warnings to all stakeholders simultaneously without hierarchy. The fourth strategy is for developing the capacity of EWS as it is structured by facilities and equipment whose initial and operational costs for sustainability are quite low and economical. Major gaps confronting disaster risk reduction mechanisms include a reactive mindset amongst civil servants, which still focuses on relief rather than preparedness. Agencies responsible at the Federal Government level include NDMA, Federal Flood Commission (FFC), Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD), WAPDA, Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP), Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters (PCIW), Army, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), (ERRA), Planning Commission. The Provincial Government level includes F/G/S/PDMAs, Civil Defense, Rescue 1122, (Fire Brigades), Health and Social Welfare The District Government level includes DDMAs (DCs/DCOs, Revenue Offices, etc.), Police, Civil Defense, TMAs, CDGs. Tehsils, UCs and non-governmental level include NGOs, INGOs, Mosques, Schools, Media, and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS). The total cost for the implementation of the DRR plan was USD 1,040.90 million with which the cost of establishing multi-hazard early warning and evacuation systems was only USD 188.50 million (18 per cent), while the cost of infrastructure development for disaster risk reduction was USD 707.6 million (68 per cent). After 10 years, the plan is still not fully implemented, while the EWS portion has been implemented partially. And recent floods have badly exposed ill-preparedness in the worst possible manner. Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) has deployed a Weather Forecast System to monitor Heat waves, Torrential rains, and Snow Storms, a Flood warning system (Assisted by WAPDA, Irrigation Department), a GLOF warning system and a Drought forecast system. Moreover, GSP has an Earthquake Warning System and NIO is equipped with a Tsunami Warning System. PMD has 117 metrological observatories to record and monitor weather data, out of which 70 are Automatic Weather Stations (AWS). The requirement for Pakistan, as per International Standards, is 551–leaving a gap of 434 AWS. The estimated cost of these AWS is Rs 13.677 billion, which can be acquired through international climate funding i.e. Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF) in three years. Adequate availability of AWS would result in a more accurate warning of disasters. PSDP Outlay for DRR is highly skewed as the only acquisition of two weather Surveillance Radars is in progress at a cost of Rs 3.4 billion while the “10 billion Trees Tsunami Program” is being executed at a cost of Rs 125.184 billion. There is an over-emphasis on one project while ignoring others. Moreover, there is no significant project for a disaster warning system included in the PSDP outlay, mainly due to a lack of political will and limited fiscal space. Pakistan started climate change initiatives in 1971, and even after 50 years, all local endeavours of Pakistan suffer from basic issues. Major gaps confronting disaster risk reduction mechanisms include a reactive mindset amongst civil servants, which still focuses on relief rather than preparedness. In addition, the absence of linkages, lack of communication and coordination, insufficient funding and duplication of work further aggravate the situation. Recommendations: Create awareness amongst civil servants-change of mindset from relief to preparedness and remove overlap in the NDMA Act and other laws. Add a schedule in the NDMA Act 2010 to spell out the responsibilities of various organisations. Amend Punjab Emergency Service Act 2006 to align it with NDMA Act 2010 and abolish district emergency boards and district disaster management committees to avoid overlap with DDMAs. Amendment in section 31 of NDMA Act and Finance Acts of provinces and bind provincial finance departments and federal finance division to release one (01 per cent) mandatory spend on disaster management before releasing the first tranche of development funds for every project. Likewise, the addition of section 31-A in the NDMA Act: 0.5 per cent out of 01 per cent be allocated for preparedness and the remaining 0.5 per cent be invested in a reserve fund for relief and rehabilitation. Early Warning Systems are to be installed and information should be disseminated through PTA, and mobile apps. EWS, as envisaged in National Multi-Hazard EWS Plan, 2012, costing USD 1,040.90 million, be implemented at the earliest, preferably through development funds or international grants. Automatic Weather Stations (AWS), 434 in number, should be deployed at an estimated cost of Rs 13.677 billion, which would result in a more accurate warning of disasters (Concluded). The writer works at a public policy think tank. He can be reached at email@example.com.