NOAA survey allows residents to report tornado experiences


Oklahoma residents are no strangers to tornadoes, especially at this time of year.

As storm season continues, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NOAA NSSL) are spreading the word about a new online survey that allows people to anonymously report their experiences with tornadoes. The survey, called Tornado Tales, will be used to understand how communities receive, interpret and react to tornado information.

In the survey, users are asked about their responses to tornado warnings and watches issued by NOAA – responses such as safety preparations and sheltering in place. The organization hopes to use this information to identify areas where warning messages are not encouraging people to choose safer and more effective tornado strategies.

Project coordinator Justin Sharpe, a research fellow at the University of Oklahoma’s Cooperative Institute for Severe and High-Impact Weather Research and Operations and NOAA NSSL, said in a press release that analysis of the responses of people would help improve weather communications.

“Understanding people’s experiences gives scientists a much better idea of ​​where research is needed, whether it’s research to improve safety messages or to assess the need for local changes, such as the development of ‘reasonable shelter options,’ Sharpe said in the statement.

The researchers aim to make Tornado Tales a citizen science tool that can help meteorologists understand what people are really doing when a tornado is on its way.

To answer the survey, visit this link.

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