March 19, 2012 Meeting

The meeting was held at the National Weather Service Office in Jackson. Our guest speaker was Dr. Laura Myers, a social scientist from the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University.

Meeting Minutes

Call to Order
The March NWA/AMS meeting of 2012 was called to order at 6 p.m. by Corresponding Secretary, Mr. Eric Carpenter. The Chapter meeting was held at the National Weather Service office, 234 Weather Service Drive, in Flowood, MS.

Rolls & Old Business
Recording Secretary Ms. Nancy Lopez took attendance, and the sign-in sheet confirmed 20 attendees. The Chapter e-mail list was updated, and the meeting was announced on Facebook and Google Plus by Social Media contact Mr. Daniel Lamb. A twitter account is available at: @CentralMSnwaams. Mr. Lamb may be taking on the webmaster role as well for posting materials, and NWA Vice President Mr. E. Huston approved it.

Minutes Approval and New Business
Treasurer Ms. Joanne Culin gave an update on the financial report for 2011-12. The fund had decreased to $88 to pay for travel for the January speaker. She reminded the group on $20 dues for regular membership and $10 for student Chapter membership. She collected $90 at the meeting.

Other news was AMS President Dr. Loren White mentioned NCAR will be coming in a couple weeks to Jackson State University, and that dates for a weather camp will likely be for the end of June. Mr. Carpenter announced NWA President Mr. Vincent Webb started working at Fox 40 as fill-in.

After the group was briefed on the January talk, the floor was turned over to special guest speaker Dr. Laura Myers. Dr. Myers is a social scientist with Mississippi State University but works heavily with NWS offices. She is a Principal Investigator in disaster response planning and gave a Power Point presentation on “Severe Weather Survey Analysis 2011-2012”. Dr. Myers studies what people do during disasters and works with a variety of groups in the weather enterprise, and has studied in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Her applied research is to study perceptions and actions during severe weather events. Given the April tornado outbreak of 2010, she created a survey last fall to inquire to the public about severe weather while the event was fresh. The study was funded by SERRI and the Department of Homeland Security, and an online survey was offered during two sessions from mid-Nov 2011 and mid-Jan 2012, even though surveys are still coming in. She received a good sampling. Over 1810 surveys were completed with 43% from Mississippi, 20% from Alabama, and 13% from Tennessee. More males (58%) answered vs. females (42%), but all ages responded over 18 years old. Most identified themselves as Caucasian with some college with moderate to high incomes. Ninety percent who answered experienced storm damage, and 75% lived in wood homes with the rest being other materials or hotels or apartment structures. She found structural protection affected the decisions in response as well as how the message or warning on severe weather was received. TV was the #1 way of how Mississippi found out about weather while Alabama relied on NOAA radios; Tennessee used both. Cell phones and sirens weren’t as relied on, but she did state that NOAA weather radio is the most effective source for taking action. Conclusions on her study was that content of message and timing of message with proximity and path of storm or lead time is key, as well as education to the public. She found working through myths, i.e. “tornados do(n’t) track there”, is still needed. She offered her contact info and would love our feedback on how we utilize this info: laura.myers@ssrc.msstate.edu or (828) 243-2952.

Adjournment
The meeting concluded at approximately 7:45 p.m. An April meeting is possible depending on Dr. White’s NCAR visitors.

Minutes submitted by Nancy Lopez, Recording Secretary.

Guest speaker Dr. Laura Myers presents her research on social science and severe weather.

For pictures from this meeting, click here.

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