Improving Weather and Emergency Management Messaging: The Tulsa Weather Message Experiment
To conduct this experiment we identified a variety of large public venues that have an official who is in charge of safety actions and getting information to the attending public. These venues include the public schools; a large, outdoor sports arena; an industrial park; a commuter-based university campus; a large retail outlet; a large airport; and both a large and small emergency management operations. Officials from these entities have identified what localized time and location forecast information means for their operational consideration in light of personal understanding of provided weather forecasts and lead-time information. They have defined their needs for clear, concise and consistent information that they can used and passed along with additional information they generate of actions for the public to take. While this study is still in its infancy, participants are thinking beyond the traditional emergency notifications to explore what actionable information the public needs to understand about the weather and what to do to protect them given the venue layout that they may or may not be familiar with.
To explore dissemination capabilities we have employed the use of CommPower's iNOTIFY technology to allow venues the flexibility to define, choose and tailor their message dissemination to Weather Radio-like broadcasts, sirens and public address (PA) systems, use the most popular social media formats, email and text notices, use local display monitors, or computer displays. The purpose of the experiment is to enable emergency managers and venue operators the freedom to explore ideas about what constitutes effective messaging and dissemination. While the Tulsa experiment is being performed on a local basis, Canada is deploying the same iNOTIFY technology nationwide for a similar messaging capability as the NOAA Weather Radio with the added capability of robust localized management that includes live audio broadcasting, TV/radio linkages, phone trees, and other disseminations. It is our intent to monitor how the system is used to see if the same messaging value exists on a larger deployment as seen at a local level.