Waterlines: Confluence and Hope through Environmental Communication. The 15th biennial Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE). June 17-21, 2019, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Communication Challenges and the Use of Climate Tools by Coastal Stakeholders

Renee Edwards's picture
Author(s): 
Edwards, Renee
Miller, Andrea
Keim, Barry
Haberlie, Alex
Karpinski, Marisa
Boukouvidis, Tryfon
Category of presentation: 
Scholarly papers
Abstract: 

Coastal Louisiana is the ideal area to study risk communication because of multiple weather and climate hazards that affect the area. Information about hazards is provided in the form of climate tools, which are charts and graphs created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other entities. Emergency managers (EMs) and meteorologists use climate tools to gather information and communicate warnings to public officials and the general public. A survey (N = 19) revealed that EMs and broadcasters vary in their understanding of weather and climate. They rely on federal agencies and local media for information. Some climate tools are favored over others. EMs and broadcast meteorologists experience communication challenges such as the need to share information, public misunderstanding, and media priorities. Better understanding of climate tools would improve the ability of EMs and broadcast meteorologists to share valuable information with their target audiences and enhance decision-making.