876 Establishing a Baseline: What We Know about Tornado Warning Reception, Comprehension and Response

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Makenzie Krocak, OU/CIMMS and NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and J. T. Ripberger

How do citizens receive, comprehend, and respond to tornado warnings? How do we know if warning systems have improved? To begin answering these questions, we are working with the FACETs team to develop and establish baseline measures of the extent to which members of the U.S. public receive, comprehend, and respond to the current NWS tornado warnings. To that end, a thorough investigation of scholarly and professional writings from the year 2000 through the present was performed to begin to understand how people interact with these warnings. A list of 108 articles addressing tornado warnings was initially gathered and then narrowed, after carefully reading all articles, to 45 pieces that contained original research and reported usable percentages or statistics. From there, we found that 25 articles pertained to warning reception, 16 to warning comprehension, and 17 to warning response. Many articles addressed one or more of these categories. Finally, an analysis was completed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the studies’ methods and findings to create a baseline “best estimate” of tornado warning reception, comprehension, and response. We then close with a brief discussion about the implications of these findings for the FACETs initiative.
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