Warning systems frequently fail to produce maximum potential benefits. Research results from the Kempsey, 2001 flood suggest businesses responded poorly to warnings because of low flood preparedness. Flood action plans could overcome this problem. If comprehensive flood action plans had been developed before the flooding of Kempsey in 2001, damage could have been reduced by an estimated 80 per cent. However, research into the development of flood action plans in Inverell, Lismore and Adelaide has shown that plans are often poorly developed and that further flood education is needed to improve their development.