S151 The Historic Tornadoes of 2011: A Case Study on Weather Preparedness

Sunday, 7 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 5 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
ena keys, NCAS, columbia, MD

The 2011 Super Tornado Outbreak was the largest, costliest, and one of the deadliest tornado
outbreaks ever recorded, affecting the Southern, Midwestern, and Northeastern United States.
There is no exact science to predicting one of nature’s most perplexing phenomena. We often
struggle to know how strong a tornado will be, what path it will follow, or how long it will last.
So what can be done? We try to implement preparedness measures to insure safety, but the
remedy is not so simple. Using the Historic Tornadoes of 2011 National Service Assessment as a
case study, this presentation will highlight key situations that may have caused problems during
the Super Tornado Outbreak event, and also go into depth about why we continue to struggle
with community safety and possible solutions to help address these gaps. This project will also
focus on the effectiveness of weather education to communities, communication across
Weather Forecasting Offices (WFO) as well as proper planning in the event of extreme weather
events, and improving WFO outreach. Finally, this work will utilize the tactics in the NOAA Risk
Communication Best Practices Guide to recommend strategies for addressing gaps in
communication practices.
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