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Helping those with special needs be more 'Weather-Ready' in face of hazards

November 3, 2020
You can find this and other types of weather radios in electronics stores and online.

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. 

For example:

(NOAA National Weather Service)

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, n2yoffsite 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.

NWS created an illustration comprised of symbols with its special education partner n2y that helps people with cognitive difficulties recognize a Severe Weather Watch.
NWS created an illustration comprised of symbols with its special education partner n2y that helps people with cognitive difficulties recognize a Severe Weather Watch. (NWS)

More 

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 wrn.feedback@noaa.gov.