Hurricane Preparedness: Improving Television Hurricane Watch and Warning Graphics

March 2002 (VOL. 20, NO. 1)

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This paper examines the effectiveness of hurricane watch and warning graphics currently used by television stations during a hurricane threat and new, enhanced graphics developed by the first author. The participants were 378 persons (91 men, 287 women) in Charleston, South Carolina- an area that has had current and repeated experience with hurricane threats. The hypothesis that participants viewing the enhanced graphics would have a better understanding of the time-frame associated with hurricane watch and warning advisories and of the actions to take, and would perceive the situation more seriously compared to those viewing the currently used graphics was supported. The new graphics may help increase preparedness and minimize property loss and exposure to life threat.