2.4 Building a Weather-Ready Nation through the Integration of Communication and Education

Monday, 8 January 2018: 2:45 PM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Amber J. Liggett, Millersville Univ., Beaver, PA; and M. Scarzello Fairbanks and K. Garrett

Daily weather prediction and the issuance of watches and warnings are the basis for keeping the public safe from weather, water and climate hazards, but are not enough on their own. Equally important is how these hazards are communicated to the public, spurring life saving actions. Without adequate communication of science and safety, the devout work of meteorologists and other scientists will not be effectively received by these intended audiences.

The role of the National Weather Service (NWS) Communications Office is to create science and safety information for national, regional and local NWS office use, and to educate the general public in effective and engaging ways in order to build a Weather-Ready Nation (WRN). Educating individuals of all ages about weather, water, and climate phenomena and how to remain safe from their hazards is a key component toward protecting life and property. This project supports that NWS mission through the integration of communication and education.

New tools were created as a result of this project, allowing for a greater public outreach, ensuring more citizens are weather-ready. The WRN initiative was strengthened as these resources were disseminated through various platforms including print, web, video, and social media. To showcase the education and outreach materials created, both by the Communications Office and this project, social media campaigns were developed to captivate and educate a greater audience. These communication and educational efforts are crucial pieces in the greater WRN initiative to increase public awareness, safety, and preparedness of weather, water and climate hazards.

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