1.5 Safe at Home: Communicating Weather Risk at Outdoor Venues

Monday, 8 January 2018: 9:45 AM
Room 5ABC (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Kevin A. Kloesel, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Holding, postponing, rescheduling or cancelling concerts, athletic events, festivals, fairs, etc. in the face of natural hazards such as hurricanes, lightning storms, tornado threats, or intense cold or heat have become the subject of intense scrutiny as the potential for loss of life and property is weighed against the economic benefits of having these events. In addition, weather forecasts are inherently probabilistic while at the same time, a venue/event decision is deterministic, requiring a “go” or “no-go” outcome. This juxtaposition of black, white and shades of gray plays out against a backdrop of statistical illiteracy, as our nation’s citizens in general do not understand probabilities, nor do they understand how to make personal safety decisions using probabilistic information. Therefore, developing proactive communications strategies for events of all seasons is inherently a daunting task. This presentation will explore the intersection of weather risk and communications at large venues, with the goal of ensuring that each patron arrives home safely.
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