Department of Public Administration

Hazard Warnings: Who Should Be Warned to Do What and When?
Archived

Fri, Jul 29, 2016

A group of risk experts is proposing a new framework to improve the effectiveness of public warnings when a hurricane, wildfire, toxic chemical spill or any other environmental hazard threatens safety.

Right now, “the potential for errors is high” when officials decide when to issue emergency warnings, who to send them to, and what safety measures to urge the public to take, says Thomas Cova, a professor in the University of Utah geography department.

That’s because “researchers tend to focus on one or two of those questions,” Cova says. “But it’s a challenge to think about all three,” which is necessary to avoid...