The US government intends to reduce risks, including loss of life, to modernize national weather alert systems. It is reported that such systems will be supplemented by modules including the use of social and behavioral research results, as well as new technologies. Research in social and behavioral research is aimed at understanding why people prefer to travel in hazardous conditions, such as snowstorms, despite the fact that they receive accurate weather forecasts and warnings.
The government report says that weather forecasting and hazard forecasting has improved significantly over the past decade, but warning systems for the population, along with emergency warning systems in the United States of America, do not keep up with advances in forecasting. The authors of the report, in order to illustrate this need for modernization of warning systems, explain that about 6,000 people die, and every year more than 445,000 people are injured in road traffic accidents involving weather on American roads, despite forecasts, reports and warnings about dangerous driving conditions. In addition, the report notes that severe weather events with widespread warnings can still lead to large-scale loss of life and property damage, as was the case with Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Mary earlier this year . Having studied the patterns of people’s behavior when receiving warnings, you can save a lot of lives. The report explains that “the person’s response to a severe weather event may depend on his understanding of the forecast, the experience of hitting the harsh weather conditions earlier, fears for other family members or property, the ability to take recommended protective measures and many other factors.” The report adds that research in the field of social and behavioral sciences “offers great potential not only to improve the communication of hazardous weather warnings, but also to improve preparedness and mitigation for weather risks, for hazard monitoring, assessment and prediction, for emergency management and response, and for long-term reconstruction efforts. “