J16.1 Educating Disadvantaged Citizens about Severe Weather Events and Impacts

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 1:30 PM
Room 353 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Syde Orange, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Severe weather events have economic, social, and mental impacts on today's society, and as technology continues to advance, different forms of communication via television, cellular devices and social media have helped decrease fatality rates. However, those who are at a disadvantage, such as the elderly, homeless and low income families, may not have access to these means of communication. Recent studies have shown that urban areas, due to high population concentrations, are the areas that are most affected by severe weather aftermaths. Storms such as Katrina and Sandy are prime examples of how those with poor means of communication were at a disadvantage. The question then becomes, how do they receive information about severe weather events? How do they know about the impacts after severe weather has struck an area? Through research via surveys and computer models, this new communication technology allows scientists to help the public get to safety before destruction occurs. This paper addresses the importance of severe weather and how today's emergency managers and meteorologists can help prepare not only the general public, but those at a disadvantage as well.
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