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Linda Plotnick, Starr Roxanne Hiltz, & Matthew Burns. (2012). For whom the siren sounds: Public perceptions of outdoor warning sirens in northeast Alabama. In Z.Franco J. R. L. Rothkrantz (Ed.), ISCRAM 2012 Conference Proceedings – 9th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management. Vancouver, BC: Simon Fraser University.
Abstract: In tornado-prone Alabama, outdoor emergency sirens are used as a major component of the Emergency Alert and Notification System. However there have been no studies to date of the effectiveness of these sirens in Calhoun County. In April 2011 a major tornado swept through this area of northeast Alabama, leaving in its wake over 300 fatalities and massive destruction. This preliminary study examines public perceptions and reactions to the sirens for notification of tornadoes. Faculty and students of a mid-sized university in Calhoun County, Alabama were surveyed before and after the devastating 2011 tornado. Although the respondents find the sirens helpful, they have difficulty understanding the tones and spoken messages emitted by the sirens. Concerns about tornadoes did increase slightly after the 2011 tornado. Those who did experience an increase in concern were likely to change their behavior in preparations and response to tornadoes. Â© 2012 ISCRAM.