1.2 Building a Weather Ready Nation: External Engagement and Effective Communication

Monday, 11 January 2016: 11:30 AM
Room 255/257 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Macy E. Howarth, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY; and D. Hilderbrand

As we become more vulnerable to extreme weather it becomes increasingly important to build a “weather-ready nation”. However, government cannot do this alone. Success can only occur with external engagements and effective communication that speak to both whole communities and the individual. The WRN Ambassador initiative, launched in 2014, builds external collaborations with emergency management offices, schools, cities, and businesses. By recognizing local and national organizations as ambassadors, and formalizing their commitments to contribute to WRN, NOAA is able to expand the reach of WRN messaging and create a unified effort. American Meteorological Society Student Chapters have a unique role in this initiative because of their dual reach within the university community and the outside community.

Effective communication of weather science and safety information is necessary to educate the public on the impacts of weather hazards, preparedness, and safety. By developing seasonal safety campaigns that focus on relevant weather hazards using social media, articles, and effective safety webpages, we can successfully communicate with the public. In addition, a uniform and comprehensive approach to weather science and safety education is necessary. Previously, the National Weather Service (NWS) was utilizing an outdated education webpage, and the Owlie Kid's webpage as the face of NWS education. By removing the outdated webpage and designing the Owlie webpage to be the focus of NWS weather science and safety education, we can increase public knowledge and preparedness and continue to build a “Weather-Ready Nation”.

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