In 1999, COMET developed a Web-based module, Community Hurricane Preparedness, to give public officials a basic education in hurricane science, hazards, and forecasting. A large part of the module focuses on uncertainty in forecasts and how emergency managers must make decisions in the face of that uncertainty. That module was followed in 2002 with another Web product, Hurricane Strike!, which uses a full range of multimedia elements to engage children in learning about hurricane science and safety. Designed primarily for middle school students and funded by FEMA and the NOAA/NWS, students participate in a week-long virtual visit to the home of the fictional Castillo family who lives in Ft. Walton Beach, Fl. Just as the visit begins, the family learns that a hurricane is predicted, and during the week, the student participates in various activities to learn how hurricanes develop and move and how to prepare for a potential disaster. Both modules can be accessed from COMET's educational Website at http://meted.ucar.edu.
The impact of these modules will be discussed, along with thoughts about how the difficult problem of forecast uncertainty might be addressed to enhance hurricane preparedness by the general public through emergency managers, weather broadcasters, and educational materials distributed to school children and their parents.