How to sound the alarm

During any environmental hazard, whether a hurricane, wildfire or toxic material spill, emergency managers face the decisions of who to warn, how to warn them and what protective actions to recommend. “False positives” can occur when the recommendations are stronger than the hazard eventually warrants; conversely, false negatives occur when warnings are not strong enough. Although risk communication researchers often focus on some aspects of communication in specific hazards, Utah geography professor Tom Cova is first author on a new paper in the journal Risk Analysis that tackles the multidimensional questions of who should do what when in a hazard. Cova and his colleagues examine the use of specific quantitative trigger points and specific delineations of populations at risk, areas of research than can lead to more effective and efficient warning systems.
Tom Cova | 801-581-7930 | cova@geog.utah.edu