Do you think the procedures to warn you of severe weather need to be improved?

Now, you can help develop those improvements by completing an online survey.

Have you experienced broadcasters airing severe warnings too often?

Have you experienced severe conditions impacting you but you were not warned?

Regardless of your experience with severe weather warnings, planners want to know what you know.

Weather experts from the University of Alabama, Auburn University and the University of South Florida are conducting a study called “Risk and Crisis Communication, Impact Assessment Standards, and Best Practices for Effective Sheltering Decisions in Response to Structural Vulnerability.” 

They are asking Alabama citizens to participate in an online survey to help make the severe weather warning process more useful and effective.

Dr. Laura Myers from the University of Alabama, Dr. Jennifer Collins from the University of South Florida, and Dr. David Roueche from Auburn University are coordinating the study.

Your participation in this research study is completely voluntary. This study will begin with an online survey of households in your region to determine severe weather awareness and preparedness for severe weather impacts to your residence. You will then have two options of also participating in two additional phases of the study.

Residential assessment of the structural wind strength of your residence: Optional participation in the residence structure assessment will give you a classification of your residential structure for EF0 to EF5 wind speeds to support your severe weather sheltering decisions. 

Severe weather event interviews: You will have the option to participate in brief virtual interviews about your sheltering decisions for actual severe weather events. 

Be sure to read the informed consent information at the beginning of the survey and then begin the survey if you then agree to participate. You will be able to read more about the two optional phases of the study and will be able to ask for more details and an invitation to participate. You can choose to complete just the online survey without participating in any additional phases. If you would like to participate in one or both of the two additional phases, that is completely voluntary.

This study is funded under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA): Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment in the United States (VORTEX-USA). The goal of the study is to gain a better understanding of severe weather risks faced by households when taking action from severe weather warnings. 

There are effectively two tornado seasons in Alabama – a Spring season in March, April and May and a Fall season in November and December.

Hurricane season in Alabama is June 1 through November.

Hurricanes and tornados can occur outside the normal seasons.

Find and take the survey here.

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler writes about Alabama’s people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths.  He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at

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