Outdoor Storm Warning

Outdoor Storm Warning Working Group

As a result of analysis conducted after the devastating tornadoes of 2011 and the years preceding  Emergency Managers in Region H partnered with the three regional councils who represent the region, as well as National Weather Service and broadcast meteorologists to develop a model document that outlines evidence-based best practices for Outdoor Storm Warning Siren utilization.

The motivation behind the development of this document was the finding in multiple assessments that followed devastating tornadoes which documented the desensitization of the public to outdoor warning siren activation. These assessments, as well as academic studies on the social science perspective of emergency storm warning, and topic experts were consulted to develop a cohesive model plan for storm warning siren testing, and activation.

Our goal was to make this document available to all jurisdictions, and that as more jurisdictions adopt a standardized guideline for testing and activation  that the public will become more aware of the intended message, and as a result, the activation of outdoor warning sirens will effect the public to take protective actions when endangered by approaching tornadic weather.

The document in it’s entirety is available below. This document is open-source, and available for use, adoption, or modification. We encourage anyone who is responsible for policy-level implementation of outdoor warning systems in their jurisdictions to read this document and consider it as  a basis for change in their practices.

Region H OWS Guideline-Version 1.1-November 14, 2012 – Guidelines updated to current version

Social Media Working Group

As a result of our efforts in Outdoor Storm Warning, a sub-group of emergency managers and topic experts are currently developing a short document aimed at assisting emergency service agencies in leveraging social media as a platform for public information dissemination. This document is expected to be completed in late 1st quarter of 2013

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