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Survey of coastal emergency managers perspectives on NWS storm surge information: Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program/Storm Surge Roadmap

by Morrow, Betty Hearn; Lazo, Jeffrey K; National Center for Atmospheric Research (U.S.)Research Applications Laboratory, -- Weather Systems and Assessment Program, -- Societal Impacts Program.
Series: NCAR technical note ; NCAR/TN-495+STR. Publisher: Boulder, Colo. : National Center for Atmospheric Research, 2013ISSN: 2153-2397; 2153-2400.Subject(s): Storm surge | Tropical cyclone | Emergency managers | Survey | Risk communication | Social scienceOnline resources: Click here to access online Summary: This NOAA-funded project aims to explore and assess (1) the public’s awareness and understanding concerning storm surge and storm surge information, and (2) whether the NWS should develop new storm surge informational approaches to improve the communication and decision-making with respect to extratropical and tropical cyclone storm surge risk. Emergency managers (EMs) in coastal areas from North Carolina to Texas, as well as Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands were surveyed. We received 53 responses from EMs across the 114 counties in the study area. In every jurisdiction except one, at least one-quarter of the population lived in an official evacuation zone and in one-six jurisdictions the entire population did. Extrapolating to the population of the 114 counties from the 2010 Census suggests that more than 13 million people are at direct risk from storm surge. Of these EMs, 76% agree completely that storm surge should be communicated separately from the current hurricane wind warning, 60% agree completely with issuing a separate storm surge watch, and 68% agree completely with issuing a separate storm surge warning. Overall, these results imply strong positive support from EMs to develop and disseminate storm surge information above and beyond that provided with current hurricane warning products. They also support new ways to convey the potential danger to the public including the expression of surge using feet above ground level. The EMs indicated that they would like earlier surge forecasts and more graphics and visual materials to use in their communication with the public.
Item type Location Call number Copy Status Date due
REPORT REPORT Mesa Lab 03697 (Browse shelf) 1 Available

2013-01

This NOAA-funded project aims to explore and assess (1) the public’s awareness and understanding concerning storm surge and storm surge information, and (2) whether the NWS should develop new storm surge informational approaches to improve the communication and decision-making with respect to extratropical and tropical cyclone storm surge risk. Emergency managers (EMs) in coastal areas from North Carolina to Texas, as well as Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands were surveyed. We received 53 responses from EMs across the 114 counties in the study area. In every jurisdiction except one, at least one-quarter of the population lived in an official evacuation zone and in one-six jurisdictions the entire population did. Extrapolating to the population of the 114 counties from the 2010 Census suggests that more than 13 million people are at direct risk from storm surge. Of these EMs, 76% agree completely that storm surge should be communicated separately from the current hurricane wind warning, 60% agree completely with issuing a separate storm surge watch, and 68% agree completely with issuing a separate storm surge warning. Overall, these results imply strong positive support from EMs to develop and disseminate storm surge information above and beyond that provided with current hurricane warning products. They also support new ways to convey the potential danger to the public including the expression of surge using feet above ground level. The EMs indicated that they would like earlier surge forecasts and more graphics and visual materials to use in their communication with the public.

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