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Emergency managers, allocation of radar resources, and policy implications: The intersection of weather hazards, population, and technology

Havidán Rodríguez, PhD, William Donner, PhD, Walter Díaz, PhD, Jenniffer Santos-Hernández, MA


This article explores the end-user community’s knowledge and perception of severe weather events, warnings, and new radar technology. Particular attention has been paid to the advantages, problems, and limitations of current weather technology from the emergency manager’s perspective. Specifically, the authors focus on end-users’ recommendations regarding the allocation of the new radar resources that are being developed by the Engineering Research Center (ERC) on the Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In-depth interviews were conducted with members (n _ 50) of the emergency management community in Oklahoma and National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists with diverse experiences in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. On the basis of the results from the in-depth interviews, the authors generated seven broad categories that include the recommendations or factors that emergency managers and NWS personnel reported should be taken into account in the allocation of radar resources, including: (a) nature of the hazard event, (b) potential impact and outcomes of the hazard event, (c) lead time, d) false alarm rates, (e) population issues, (f) infrastructure, and (g) availability of other resources. Our findings suggest that respondents generally agreed that the type of hazard, its severity, and the potential impact and outcomes of severe weather events should play a primary role in the allocation of radar resources. However, there were some conflicts or concerns regarding the role that population size should and could play in the allocation of such resources.


disasters, hazards, radar resources, technology, social sciences, emergency managers, population, weather

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