108 Education and Communication: Keys to Building a Weather-Ready Nation

Monday, 7 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Emily D. Lenhardt, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and M. Fairbanks

Weather forecasts and warnings are essential in protecting lives and property. The communication of these forecasts and warnings is equally as important since message become meaningless when proper actions are not taken. A significant part of protecting the public from weather hazards is educating them about the specific hazards they face and how to prepare. The NWS Education vision of a “A Weather-Informed Society” is a society empowered with the knowledge and tools needed to understand weather, water and climate science and to take action toward building a Weather-Ready Nation.

The NWS Office of Communications develops both formal and informal science and safety content to educate the general public. Through support from NOAA Education and the Hollings Undergraduate Scholar program, materials were created to reach people of all ages, but especially children. This was achieved through the creation of many types of external content such as social media campaigns, educational resources, tools to support three-dimensional learning, weather safety brochures, and an informational database regarding the Weather Enterprise. The Weather Enterprise includes members of academia, government, and America’s Weather Industry and is critical in extending our reach to include more of the general public with weather alerts and messaging. These resources and tools created will allow for greater public knowledge, furthering the Weather-Ready Nation initiative.

The NWS strives to provide weather science and safety in a variety of ways that mirror the many methods by which people receive and process information. Education is the key to protecting lives and property. When individuals and communities stay informed and actively involved in decisions and actions to improve preparedness, response, and resilience to hazardous weather, changes in climate, and other environmental threats, it helps us to build a Weather-Ready Nation.

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