A partnership between OU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has developed “Tornado Tales,” a citizen science web survey that aims to improve weather safety communication.
The survey asks questions of respondents about what actions they took when a tornado watch or warning was issued.
Researchers want to know how individuals responded to a tornado including where they were when they received the watch or warning, in what type of shelter they sought safety, and whether they felt safe in that structure.
They hope to learn what gaps may exist in their current tornado warning messages so they might improve those messages, helping people take the most effective actions during a tornado or other severe weather event.
Justin Sharpe, a research scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Severe and High-Impact Weather Research and Operations (CIWRO) at OU, led the project to help those who have experienced a tornado share what happened to them.
Sharpe said in a June 14 Weather Channel interview that despite the more than 100,000 people who are exposed to tornadoes on an annual basis, very little is known about how those people responded in real-time to ensure their safety.
“We want to improve our communications, but also, we want to know what happened after we’ve communicated those risks,” he said.
Learn more and share your Tornado Tales here.