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Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Editor-in-Chief: Renda-Tanali, Irmak, D.Sc.

Managing Editor: McGee, Sibel, Ph.D.

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1547-7355
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Tornado Warnings in Three Southern States: A Qualitative Analysis of Public Response Patterns

William R. Donner
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
/ Havidan Rodriguez
  • University of Texas, Pan American
/ Walter Diaz
  • University of Texas, Pan American
Published Online: 2012-10-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1547-7355.1955

Abstract

Recent research in three Southern states supplied data describing the role community structure and culture played in shaping public response to tornado risks. The following study identifies and describes how residents received, made sense of, and ultimately used information to make decisions about responding to warnings. In addition to a range of theoretical concerns, research was also intended to develop a set of safety policies derived from what the data reveals about the social psychology of risk perception, economic constraints to shelter, and the cultural aspects of response. Data analysis reveals a diverse set of social factors governing community response to tornado warnings, including social networks, language, issues in comprehension, siren ambiguities, false alarms, tornado tracking, local business behaviors, warning specificity, and cultural myths.

Keywords: warnings; tornados; public response; social psychology

About the article

Published Online: 2012-10-18



Citation Information: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, ISSN (Online) 1547-7355, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1547-7355.1955. Export Citation

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