Date of this Version
Paltz, E., M. Hayes, and M. Van Den Broeke, 2018: Impact of Past Experiences with Tornadoes on Future Decisions in Nebraska. UCARE Poster Session, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The National Weather Service (NWS) advises the public to go to an interior room on the lowest level of their houses when a tornado warning is issued for their area. As the NWS Central Region Service Assessment of the Joplin, Missouri Tornado published in July 2011 reveals, however, this is often not the first action taken after learning that there is danger of being hit by a tornado. Rather, people need to seek confirmation from more than one source before following the recommended action. The goal of this research project is to determine how the number of sources and what sources residents use vary with respect to characteristics such as the intensity of their past experiences. A total of 20 residents from two small Nebraskan towns were interviewed. The town of Pilger was hit by an EF4 tornado on June 16, 2014. St. Helena was hit by a weak tornado in the late 1960s. Residents were first asked to share how they would respond to a given situation. Next, they were questioned about how they responded during past experiences with tornadoes. Analysis of these interviews is ongoing, and results will be presented at the conference.