2.4 Bracing for Impact: How NWS Forecaster and Partner Feedback informed a Public Survey on Impact-based Tornado Warning Messages

Thursday, 22 June 2017: 11:15 AM
Salon II (InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza)
Gina M. Eosco, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD; and J. T. Ripberger, S. Shrestha, J. Sharp, J. Sprague, and M. J. Hudson

Looking for input on how the National Weather Service (NWS) Impact-Based Warning (IBW) system is affecting public response and decision-making, ERG set out to first understand what messages the public hears by conducting 14 NWS WFO group interviews and focus groups with 126 emergency managers (EMs) and 27 media partners (primarily broadcast meteorologists) in the spring of 2016. The focus groups were held in four states (North Carolina, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Alabama), which were each chosen for their varying experiences with severe weather, as well as for the variety of storm types in their region. In addition to understanding what the public hears from these partners, ERG also sought to understand how EMs and media partners perceive storm severity, as well as how forecasters determine storm severity to gather potential alternative words to express the IBW paradigm. With the interview and focus group findings, we then designed a public survey to evaluate current IBW impact statements, tag names, alternative language, and partner concerns. The findings from both the forecaster interviews and partner focus groups, as well as the structure of the survey will be discussed.
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