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  • Writer's picturejeannettesutton

Here comes #Hilary

(click image to enlarge)

A well-forecasted and highly infrequent event requires clear communication to populations at risk.

Every now and then, we come across a few exemplary messages that truly demonstrate a well-constructed message. In this case, we see a message that hits most of the 5 criteria, but adds a few pieces for greater clarity and specificity.

As #Hilary approaches, we've realized how little populations on the West Coast know about or how to prepare for an event with extremely heavy rain falling in areas that cannot handle the deluge. We've also realized that the use of hurricane categories (representing the wind speed) is less useful information than the description of the amount of water that will be flowing - FAST.

This message includes the source "County OES" and the hazard "tropical storm warning." Instead of relying on the message receiver to interpret the meaning of the hazard (which is unfamiliar), the sender clearly explains what this tropical storm is capable of and how a person can protect themselves. They also send people to a credible link for more information that will, presumably, be updated as new information becomes available. In doing so, they make themselves the source and hub for reliable information as the event unfolds.

While a mention of the specific location of impact could be helpful (such as an explanation about low-lying areas) or a hint about the timing of the event (when is the flooding expected to begin? by what time do I need to have my preparations completed?), the link to additional information will, hopefully, provide those details.

Well done, County OES.


Feel free to post this on your social media site, just remember to attribute it to The Warn Room and include the web address: - Thank you!

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