8.6 Utilizing Social Media Campaigns to Enable Community Preparedness for Fire Weather Impacts

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 2:45 PM
615 (Washington State Convention Center )
Edan L Weishahn, NWS, Reno, NV

NWS Reno has set a high standard for social media within the local and regional community with informative, and graphically appealing content. We have used our social media influence over the past couple of years to provide significant weather updates and critical preparedness information to core partners, the media, and the general public. Over the last ten years, the most costly and destructive fires in the Reno-Tahoe region have been human caused so, we developed a focused campaign over the past few summers to educate the public about critical fire weather conditions. Red flag warnings and fire weather watches, traditionally a product utilized solely by the fire community, are becoming increasingly crucial for communities that continue to build and move into the wildland urban interface. NWS Reno discovered this critical need: homeowners and others should understand fire weather products so they can take action and contribute to fire prevention activities.

NWS Reno has worked closely with the local and regional fire partners, and also Living With Fire, an organization through the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, to develop campaigns and content for social media that will educate the public on fire weather awareness and prevention. In particular, NWS Reno has developed a YouTube video and a series of weather graphics that highlight the urgency of high fire danger and what an individual can do on those critical days, e.g. avoid activities that will spark a fire, such as yard work, welding, or target shooting. Other graphics have highlighted historically damaging and memorable fires in the Reno-Tahoe region which were human-caused, which further highlights the importance of public awareness and education. This content encourages the public to take ownership of fire prevention activities, as well as encourage others in their communities to be aware of unsafe activities on critical fire weather days.

Supplementary URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkuoG7k0E2E

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner