S105 Past Experiences and the False Alarm Effect: A synthesis of dissemination methods research

Sunday, 22 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Ebone D. Smith, NCAS, Sterling, VA

This project serves as a syntheses of research conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of dissemination methods for weather-related warnings and the false alarm effect. This project sought to delve further into the many factors that influence end-users interpretation and understanding of weather related warnings, including end- users past experiences, socioeconomic backgrounds, and language barriers. The literature synthesized on false alarms revealed that past experience is particularly impactful in how people respond to weather-related warnings. For example, according to the National Weather Service, 69% of all tornado warnings are false alarms. With this high percentage of false alarms, the research has found that some people have lost trust in the source of information. This project sought to provide further insight into how social science can incorporate end-users past experiences with false alarms into future weather-related warnings to promote a weather-ready nation.
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