Efficacy of Community Education Programmes in Influencing Public Reception and Response Behaviour Factors Related to Tornado Warning Systems

Walsh, John (2016) Efficacy of Community Education Programmes in Influencing Public Reception and Response Behaviour Factors Related to Tornado Warning Systems. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

The thesis explores the U.S. early warning system in the context of three separate but interlocking components: emergency management; special needs populations, in this case represented by the Deaf and hard of hearing community; and disaster education. Of importance is the need to bring further understanding to the relevancy of each and how the interrelationship among all three reflects a microcosm illustrative of the larger early warning paradigm and its challenges. Meeting those challenges requires implementation of innovative interventions and evidence-based approaches for adapting to the changing urban and rural demographics, climatological and technological environments. Severe weather and tornado hazard early warning is the embodiment of an integration of multiple systems requiring complex coordination of functions consisting of forecasting, detection, analysis, message development and dissemination, message reception, and action. This culminates in individual decision making for taking self-protection measures.

The thesis methodological framework consisted of a mixed method approach. Data collection utilised a survey questionnaire instrument, individual interviews and focus groups. The research questioned if current warning processes within the U.S. tornado early warning system positively integrate with emergency management practices and effectively influence protective actions of the special needs population. Results indicate the emergency management system continues to be institutionally focused and operationally centric. Emergency managers recognise the need to become more of an integrated component between the warning mechanism and the communities they represent. Data indicate the Deaf and hard of hearing population remains underserved and generally ill-prepared for severe weather events. Disaster education programmes addressing their particular needs are scarce and current warning notification processes are often inadequate. Although tornado early warning detection and notification times are increasing, questions remain on how to more effectively encourage individuals to better heed warning messages.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
L400 Social Policy
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography
University Services > Research and Business Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2016 09:26
Last Modified: 08 May 2017 22:01
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/27321

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