The National Weather Service (NWS) is seeking comments from the public regarding simplified and clarified headline language for winter weather hazards. The demonstration is part of NWS’s Weather-Ready Nation initiative, with the goal of ensuring hazard messages are as clear and understandable as possible. The demonstration is driven by feedback from previous surveys, NWS service assessments, and user interactions indicating the public may be confused about the meaning and intent of the NWS’s “watch,” “warning,” and “advisory” terminology.
Now through the end of March 2013, the public is invited to review and comment on NWS’s proposed alternative language for its winter weather hazard headlines. Survey participants have the opportunity to compare and comment on the current and proposed language via the demonstration website, special links from the NWS home page, as well as the home pages of many of the 26 participating NWS Weather Forecast Offices.
During the demonstration period, NWS will continue to use its official hazard event language and will not disseminate the proposed language to notify the public of an actual hazard event. Based on the feedback gathered from the demonstration, NWS will work with its partners and social scientists to identify next steps, which may include the integration of the proposed alternative language and the expansion of the demonstration to include additional weather and water hazards.
For more information or to participate in the demonstration, visit the demonstration website.
Ms. Sweeney is a senior consultant with SRA International Strategy and Performance Group who has worked in the alerts and warnings space for several years. As part of her work with the Department of Homeland Security, she has had the opportunity to engage federal, state, and local agencies; the private sector; and academic institutions to improve alerts and warnings. She is currently working to envision what alerts and warnings will look like in the next 5-10 years. Previously, Ms. Sweeney worked in marketing for a consumer products start-up and Fortune 500 company.