Forecaster and Emergency Manager Perspectives on Coordination and Communication with the Weather-Warned Public


According to the National Weather Service, each year the United States experiences an average of 1,200 tornadoes that kill about sixty people and injure about 1,500. The goal of this work is to explore the warning communication process from the perspectives of the forecaster (National Weather Service) and the responder (emergency management agencies) and to identify variations and challenges in communication strategies. This research explores the priorities, perceptions, perspectives, and challenges these professionals face and identifies any variations among regions and between professions. Through two different national surveys, these professionals provide insight into the realities of disseminating warnings and meeting particular needs of the communities they serve. This work further examines the perceptions professionals have of weather understanding by the public. Tornado risk and warnings are the primary focus of this work. Findings reveal that forecasters and emergency managers lack confidence that the public understands warnings and watches. This study also found consistency in the frequency and nature of interaction between National Weather Service Forecast Offices and the communities they serve and regional variations were observed in the interactions between emergency managers and the communities they serve.

Publication Title

Papers in Applied Geography