April 6, 2018

Ann Bostrom Publishes Paper in International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction

Professor Ann Bostrom is lead author of “Eyeing the Storm: How Residents of Coastal Florida see Hurricane Forecasts and Warning” published in International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (co-authors Rebecca Morss, Jeffrey K. Lazo, Julie Demuth, and Heather Lazrus).  Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria resulted in daunting human and economic losses last year despite recent technical advances in forecasting. To inform improvements in the hurricane forecast and warning system, and better understand warning decisions in extreme weather events, Bostrom and colleagues explore how members of the public understand hurricane risks and hurricane forecasts and warnings, use these forecasts and warnings in decision making.  They find, for example, discrepancies in how professionals in the forecast and warning system and coastal residents understand storm surge risks, trends and uncertainties.  Designing information that better addresses how people currently understand storm behavior and uncertainties should make that information more comprehensible and useful.  This would likely require weather forecasting, broadcasting, and public official professionals to better understand public concerns about vulnerabilities and beliefs about mitigation.