Weather-related emergencies and disasters are difficult enough to navigate — and people with special needs face a unique set of challenges.
See how NOAA’s National Weather Service is ensuring that effective safety and preparedness materials reach as many people as possible:
Weather warnings and alerts for the hearing and visually impaired
Recognizing that a weather disaster could present unique obstacles for people with hearing and vision impairments, we tailored how we communicate lifesaving weather information to this vulnerable community.
Some NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radios are equipped with visual and vibrating alarms and can also be connected to attention-getting devices like bed shakers.
NWS created a website detailing weather safety for the deaf and hard of hearing with sign-language videos and other tools.
We worked with the deaf and hard of hearing community to adapt our lightning safety campaign slogan of “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors” to “See a flash, dash inside.”
Different ways to communicate weather hazards
The National Weather Service is working with partners and communities across the country to build a Weather-Ready Nation — one that is resilient to extreme weather, water and climate events.
NWS teamed up with Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador and special education expert, n2y offsite link, to create weather safety materials using symbols designed to help adults and kids with cognitive, learning or communication-related difficulties better understand written information.
For example, to communicate a Severe Weather Watch, we created a small illustration that shows a human figure checking a wristwatch for time, while lightning and snow are overhead.
Check out more videos on weather emergency preparedness tips for people with hearing or visual impairments. It could save your life or someone you love.
Is your organization interested in collaborating with NOAA/NWS on additional tools we can offer? E-mail your idea to email@example.com.