S106 Unlocking a Weather Ready Nation: Using Communication as the Key to Protecting Life and Property

Sunday, 22 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Zoey Rosen, Colorado State Univ., Burbank, CA

Becoming a Weather-Ready Nation is an effort of public engagement. The Office of Communications creates and disseminates science and safety information and resources in various platforms. As a student intern, the priorities for the course of the project were to integrate into the team dynamic of the office and prepare materials and content in an effort to build a Weather-Ready Nation that can be used for outreach, education, and internal dissemination. There are three “keys” to foster communication: external and education outreach, internal communication materials, and face-to-face efforts. Through social media campaigns and preparing publications via Owlie Skywarn, the mascot of the NWS, public interaction and reach with social media posts doubled. Internally, new general brochures and banners were prepared as future marketing tools for use across the entire NWS. Science and safety fact sheets were also produced as a comprehensive resource on national hazards. The fall seasonal safety campaign was contributed to with an article and graphic feedback. The online cold weather and winter storm safety pages were modified with additional information to increase scope, including science and safety. Interacting face-to-face, I helped prepare and present Weather Ready Nation missions at the Embassy of the Netherlands, the White House, the Department of State, and FEMA Headquarters. This internship contributed to furthering the support for a Weather-Ready Nation through social media, written publications, and presentations. Widespread and interactive communication efforts are crucial in order to increase public safety and awareness of weather hazards and ultimately expand upon NOAA’s initiative of building a Weather-Ready Nation.
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