The Current Status of Lightning Safety Knowledge and the Effects of Education Modes on College Students

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Melissa C. K. Phillips, Kent State University, Kent, OH; and T. W. Schmidlin

Lightning is a natural hazard occurring frequently within the United States causing injury, damage, and death. To avoid this hazard, citizens need to self mitigate their risk by taking action. The level of lightning safety knowledge must be known to determine if citizens have the tools to mitigate their risk. No studies have previously explored the status of lightning safety knowledge or the best way to educate about lightning safety. Therefore, the research community is unaware if citizens understand their risk, have the knowledge to mitigate their risk, or if current safety programs are effectively educating citizens. This study distributed two surveys to college students in Florida, Ohio, and Colorado. Following the pre-mode survey, students were shown videos, given brochures, or both with lightning safety information. A follow-up survey was then distributed. Participants were found to have a moderate level of lightning safety knowledge. Study areas of variable risk as well as past death rates were not found to affect the rate of knowledge. The presence of education programs were not affected by variable risk. Misunderstood areas of lightning safety knowledge were associated mostly with the lightning and thunder relationship as well as safety before and after a thunderstorm. The education modes involving a video were the most effective at increasing knowledge. Gender displayed minor differences in gaining of lightning safety knowledge.