Over recent years the use of hydrological models for forecasting water-based disasters (WD) has improved flood management capabilities worldwide. However, many of these applications present homogenous and generalized solutions based, in part, on limited data inputs related to incomplete or inaccurate calculation of variables. Furthermore, the focus of such systems is on large-scale areas and as a result, torrential and flash floods that occur mainly at the local level cannot be easily predicted. Consequently, wrong or missed alarms lead to property damage and human losses, especially in remote, riparian areas. This study presents a general overview of hydrological and flood forecasting models that are used in water resources and WD management around the world. It explains why early warning strategies based on these systems often fail at the local level and considers whether localized hydropower applications can be used during WD to power flood early warning systems at this scale. Specifically, it describes the concept of a combined off-grid hydropower generator with localized early warning systems in areas with high flood risk probability and hydropower potential. This system could improve limited flood response mechanisms at the local level and increase the survival rates during extreme WD.