Fifth Symposium on Policy and Socio-economic Research
Second AMS Conference on International Cooperation in the Earth System Sciences and Services


The “vigilance map” as a pilot project of the Meteorological Service of Canada: A decision making tool for emergency measures organizations and the public

Michelle Hardy, Environment Canada, Montreal, QC, Canada; and O. Gagnon and J. Descurieux

The Meteorological Service of Canada disseminates meteorological warnings to improve public safety and to facilitate decision making. Warnings are formatted on a binary system resting on fixed criteria and thresholds. The rigidity and the absence of environmental contextual information greatly limit the ability to nuance hazardous weather warnings. The “vigilance map” enables the integration of all available and pertinent information such as: existing environmental conditions, climatologic history, meteorological forecast, similar past events, the directly or indirectly associated impacts as well as the lessons learned from those events.

The development of a “vigilance map” will improve the comprehension and the perception of potential risk and impacts. As a risk communication tool it must include a description of the risks as well as behavioural guidelines. They will increase decision making efficiency and will lead to the development of a public risk understanding culture.

The “vigilance map” is an indispensable risk communication toll to increase personal safety, enable public property protection and to facilitate the continuity of economic activities in the presence of hazardous meteorological conditions.

Recorded presentation

Joint Session 15, Societal Dimensions of Weather and Climate Hazards III
Thursday, 21 January 2010, 11:00 AM-12:15 PM, B213

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