16 min

Tornado Warning Confirmation and Respons‪e‬ Tornado Symposium

    • Society & Culture

Interviews were conducted with residents of Smithville, Mississippi following an EF5 tornado in April, 2011 that killed 16 people. The purpose of the interviews was to determine how information was used just before the tornado touched down. Individuals who were at home searched for more different types of information, and individuals in cars looked for or received the fewest types of information. The individual stories of those who did not try to find a safer place during the tornado do not share many qualities. Respondents who received a number of confirmatory cues or messages still chose not to seek shelter. About one third of the respondents thought some of the sirens that day had been unnecessary, but only one person believed the amount of television coverage was too much. Comments made by some of the respondents indicate they stopped paying attention to the warnings or did not take them seriously at the time.

Interviews were conducted with residents of Smithville, Mississippi following an EF5 tornado in April, 2011 that killed 16 people. The purpose of the interviews was to determine how information was used just before the tornado touched down. Individuals who were at home searched for more different types of information, and individuals in cars looked for or received the fewest types of information. The individual stories of those who did not try to find a safer place during the tornado do not share many qualities. Respondents who received a number of confirmatory cues or messages still chose not to seek shelter. About one third of the respondents thought some of the sirens that day had been unnecessary, but only one person believed the amount of television coverage was too much. Comments made by some of the respondents indicate they stopped paying attention to the warnings or did not take them seriously at the time.

16 min

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