4.2 Reactions to NWS Warnings: Actions Taken and Characteristics of Individuals More Likely to Take Action

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 11:15 AM
Room 333-334 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Lou Nadeau, Eastern Research Group, Lexington, MA

This presentation will discuss the results of three surveys conducted by Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG) on behalf of NWS. The surveys used the NWS “Quick Response” surveys which are designed to assess reactions to NWS' warnings and actions that are taken in response to the warnings. We selected three warnings issued in June of 2015: a severe thunderstorm warning issued from the Jacksonville WFO, a flash flood warning issued from the Baton Rouge WFO, and a tornado warning issued from the Boston WFO. The surveys resulted in the collection of 380 total responses: 127 for the Jacksonville area severe thunderstorm warning, 125 for the Baton Rouge area flash flood warning, and 128 for the Boston area tornado warning. This presentation will focus on two specific questions in the survey: (1) the actions respondents took following the warning being issued by NWS and (2) the self-reported likelihood of taking protective action when NWS issues warnings. The responses to these two questions will be compared to other data collected through the survey including demographics of respondents, the sources of information used by respondents, respondents' assessment of the different sources of information, how well respondents understood the risks of the specific event, how well respondents understand the terms “watch” and “warning”, how prepared the respondents were for the event, and respondents'' satisfaction with NWS information. The results of these analyses will provide insights into the characteristics of people who respond to NWS warnings and potential strategies that NWS can take to improve response to warnings. We will also compare the results across the three surveys which dealt with different events in different areas. Finally, we will provide a discussion of the overall usefulness of the NWS Quick Response surveys for collecting feedback on NWS warnings.
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