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Earth Institute Research Projects

Collaborative Research: Understanding Dynamic Responses to Hurricane Warnings - Implications for Communication and Research

Lead PI: Ben Orlove Kenneth Broad, Shuyi Chen, Robert Meyer

Unit Affiliation: Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED)

January 2009 - December 2012
Inactive
North America ; United States
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: Recent increases in losses of lives and property from hurricanes in the United States have underscored the need to develop more effective ways to warn residents of approaching storms. Though physical scientists have made great advances in forecasting the movement and strength of storms, we know much less about how residents utilize and interpret the range of forecasts products provided to the public, and how these forecasts affect decisions to take protective action. The goal of this research is to gain this knowledge using a web-based computer simulation that allows residents to "live through" a hypothetical storm event by watching hypothetical weather broadcasts, and speaking with virtual friends and neighbors about the approaching storm.

This new technique will allow the research team to answer such basic questions as how residents make use of different media (such as television, the web, and word-of-mouth) over time as a hurricane threat evolves, and which media are most effective in triggering decisions to take protective action. In addition, by varying the content of broadcasts and the nature of the storm threat, the research will enable investigation of factors that could potentially impair preparedness-such as repeated exposure to "false alarms", or forecasts of storms that do not materialize. Armed with such knowledge, the research will hopefully contribute to an understanding of the best way to communicate warnings so as to maximize public preparedness.

OUTCOMES: Outcomes of this project include answers to basic questions regarding how residents make use of different media over time as a hurricane threat evolves, and which media are most effective in triggering decisions to take protective action. In addition, this research enables the investigation of factors that could potentially impair preparedness, such as repeated exposure to "false alarms."

SPONSOR:

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

ORIGINATING SPONSOR:

National Science Foundation

FUNDED AMOUNT:

$28,157

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY COLLABORATORS:

International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI)

WEBSITE:

https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=0838650&HistoricalAwards=false

PUBLICATIONS:

Orlove, Benjamin. "Waiting for Hurricane Irene in New York," Weather, Climate, and Society, v.3(30, 2011, p. 145.

Meyer, R., K. Broad, B. Orlove, N. Petrovic. "Dynamic Simulation as an Approach to Understanding Hurricane Risk Response: Insights from the Stormview Lab," Risk Analysis, v.33, 2013.

Earl J. Baker, Kenneth Broad, Jeffrey Czajkowski, Robert Meyer, Ben Orlove. "Risk Perceptions and Preparedness among Mid-Atlantic Coastal Residents in Advance of Hurricane Sandy," Risk Center Working Paper, v.#2012-, 2012.

Meyer, R.. "Development and Pilot Testing of a Dynamic Hurricane Simulator for the Laboratory Study of Hurricane Preparedness and Mitigation Decisions Preliminary Report," Risk Center working paper, v.#2010-, 2010.

KEYWORDS

forecasting natural hazards risk perception hazards and risk reduction decision making communication simulation

THEMES

Modeling and Adapting to Future Climate