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Title:
Risk communication an analysis of message source and function in hurricane mitigationpreparedness communication
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Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Gallo, Andrew M
Publisher:
University of South Florida
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Tampa, Fla
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Subjects / Keywords:
National Weather Service
Local government
Public relations process model
Situation theory of publics
Dissertations, Academic -- Mass Communications -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
ABSTRACT: In September 2008, the National Weather Service (NWS) predicted that Hurricane Ike would make landfall on Galveston Island as a strong category three storm. This led the NWS to release a statement of 'certain death' if people did not adhere to the emergency evacuation messages. Millions of people fled the Texas coast. Using Hazleton and Long's (1993) taxonomy of public relations strategies, experimental methods were conducted with various evacuation messages to test emergency communication. Grunig's (1997) situational theory of publics was used to determine strategy influence. Problem recognition, constraint recognition, and level of involvement were tested. In addition, tests were conducted to measure source expertise, trust, and attitude depending on the message source. Results indicated that a national message source produced higher constraint recognition than a local message source. The national message source produced higher expertise, trust, and attitude then a local message source. The threat and punishment strategy produced the highest level of information-seeking behavior. Information-seeking behavior was the lowest when a persuasive strategy was used. Constraint recognition produced the weakest effect on information-seeking behavior. In conclusion, emergency management communicators must use the correct message strategy to have an effect on information-seeking behavior.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Andrew Gallo M.
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Title from PDF of title page.
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Document formatted into pages; contains 107 pages.

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aleph - 002069490
oclc - 608514355
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0003281
usfldc handle - e14.3281
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SFS0027597:00001


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Risk Communication: An Analysis of Me ssage Source and Function in Hurricane Mitigation/Preparedness Communication by Andrew M. Gallo A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts School of Mass Communications College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Kelly Page Werder, Ph.D. Scott Liu, Ph.D. Randy Miller, Ph.D. Date of Approval: March 12, 2009 Keywords: national weather service, local gov ernment, public relations process model, situation theory of publics, emergency communication Copyright 2009, Andrew M. Gallo

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i Table of Contents List of Tables ................................................................................................................ ..... iii List of Figures ............................................................................................................... ..... iv Abstract ...................................................................................................................... ..........v Chapter One: Introduction ...................................................................................................1 Hurricane Ike ...........................................................................................................1 National Weather Service ........................................................................................2 Public Relations Process Model ...............................................................................3 Situational Theory of Publics...................................................................................3 Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................4 Hypotheses and Propositions ...................................................................................4 Organization of Study ..............................................................................................5 Chapter Two: Literature Review .........................................................................................6 Emergency Management .........................................................................................6 Hurricane Classification ...........................................................................................8 Hurricane Characteristics .......................................................................................10 Hurricane Watches and Warnings .........................................................................12 Risk Communication .............................................................................................14 Past Experience .........................................................................................19 Trust and Credibility ..................................................................................21 Lack of Knowledge ....................................................................................22 Vocabulary .................................................................................................25 Target Audience .........................................................................................26 Media .........................................................................................................28 Public Relations Process Model .............................................................................30 Facilitative Strategy ...................................................................................31 Informative Strategy ..................................................................................31 Persuasive Strategy ....................................................................................32 Promise and Reward Strategy ....................................................................32 Threat and Punishment Strategy ................................................................32 Bargaining Strategy ...................................................................................32 Cooperative Problem Solving Strategy ......................................................33 Situational Theory of Publics.................................................................................33 Problem Recognition .................................................................................35 Constraint Recognition ..............................................................................36 Level of Involvement .................................................................................36

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ii Chapter Three: Methodology .............................................................................................40 Research Participants .............................................................................................41 Stimulus Materials .................................................................................................42 Instrumentation ......................................................................................................43 Pretest 46 Data Analysis .........................................................................................................46 Chapter Four: Results ........................................................................................................4 7 Descriptives............................................................................................................48 Item Means.............................................................................................................50 Hypothesis 1 Results ..............................................................................................56 Proposition 1.1 Results .............................................................................56 Proposition 1.2 Results ..............................................................................56 Proposition 1.3 Results ..............................................................................56 Proposition 1.4 Results ..............................................................................57 Proposition 1.5 Results ..............................................................................57 Proposition 1.6 Results ..............................................................................57 Proposition 1.7 Results ..............................................................................57 Hypothesis 2 Results ..............................................................................................58 Proposition 2.1 Results ..............................................................................58 Proposition 2.2 Results ..............................................................................59 Hypothesis 3 Results ..............................................................................................62 Hypothesis 4 Results ..............................................................................................62 Chapter Five: Discussion ...................................................................................................64 Overview of Results ...............................................................................................64 Discussion and Implications ..................................................................................64 Hypothesis 1...............................................................................................64 Proposition 1.1 ...........................................................................................64 Proposition 1.2 ...........................................................................................65 Proposition 1.3 ...........................................................................................65 Proposition 1.4 ...........................................................................................66 Proposition 1.5 ...........................................................................................67 Proposition 1.6 ...........................................................................................67 Proposition 1.7 ...........................................................................................68 Hypothesis 2 Results ..............................................................................................68 Proposition 2.1 ...........................................................................................68 Proposition 2.2 ...........................................................................................69 Hypothesis 3...........................................................................................................69 Hypothesis 4...........................................................................................................70 Limitations .............................................................................................................70 Future Research .....................................................................................................71 Conclusion .............................................................................................................71 References .................................................................................................................... ......72

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iii Appendices .................................................................................................................... .....80 Appendix A: Questionnaires ..................................................................................81 Appendix B: Control ..............................................................................................94 Appendix C: Treatments ........................................................................................96

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iv List of Tables Table 1 Major Participants in Emerge ncy Management in Disaster Plans .....................8 Table 2 Tropical Storm/Hurrican e Watches and Warnings ..........................................13 Table 3 Participants Race Identification .......................................................................49 Table 4 Item Mean and Standard Deviation .................................................................51 Table 5 Final Cronbach’s Alpha for Multiple-Item Indexes .........................................54 Table 6 ANOVA Strategy Type/Receiver Variables ....................................................59 Table 7 Coefficients ......................................................................................................63

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v List of Figures Figure 1. Four Phases of Emergency Management ...........................................................6 Figure 2. Saffir-Simpson Scale .........................................................................................9 Figure 3. Storm Tide Diagram ........................................................................................11 Figure 4. Parts of a Hurricane .........................................................................................11 Figure 5. Spaghetti Model ...............................................................................................13 Figure 6. Cone of Uncertainty .........................................................................................14

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vi Risk Communication: An Analysis of Me ssage Source and Function in Hurricane Mitigation/Preparedness Communication Andrew M. Gallo ABSTRACT In September 2008, the National Weathe r Service (NWS) predicted that Hurricane Ike would make landfall on Galvest on Island as a strong category three storm. This led the NWS to release a statement of ‘cer tain death’ if people did not adhere to the emergency evacuation messages. Millions of pe ople fled the Texas coast. Using Hazleton and Long’s (1993) taxonomy of public relations strategies, experime ntal methods were conducted with various evacuation messages to test emergency communication. Grunig’s (1997) situational theory of publics was used to determine strategy influence. Problem recognition, constraint recogniti on, and level of involvement were tested. In addition, tests were conducted to measure source expert ise, trust, and attitude depending on the message source. Results indicated that a national messa ge source produced higher constraint recognition than a local message source. Th e national message source produced higher expertise, trust, and attit ude then a local message sour ce. The threat and punishment strategy produced the highest level of inform ation-seeking behavior. Information-seeking behavior was the lowest when a persuasive strategy was used. C onstraint recognition produced the weakest effect on informationseeking behavior. In conclusion, emergency management communicators must use the correct message strategy to have an effect on information-seeking behavior.

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1 Chapter One Introduction “All neighborhoods ... and possibly enti re coastal communities ... will be inundated during the period of peak storm tide,” a National Weather Service (NWS) advisory said in wake of Hurricane Ike’s predicted landfall on Galveston Island in September 2008. “Persons not heeding evacuatio n orders in singlefamily oneor twostory homes will face certain death.” The language of “certain death” created an unprecedented response from citizens all across th e Gulf Coast, specifically residents in Texas, in the path of Hurricane Ike. Over one million people evacuated to places deemed structurally safe from the hurricane. The NWS wasn’t the only organization/ag ency communicating messages of this magnitude. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff, “urged people not to succu mb to hurricane fatigue,” in referring to concerns that authorities were overestimati ng Hurricane Ike's potential impact. He added, "unless you're fatigued with living, I suggest yo u want to take seriously a storm of this size and scale.” In addition to the NWS and DHS having similar messages about the possible destruction Hurricane Ike could bri ng, Houston’s Mayor Bill White responded to reports that people in mandatory evacuation ar eas planned on staying in their homes and urged them to reconsider. “If you think you wa nt to ride something out, and people are talking about a 20-foot wall of water coming at you, then you better thin k again.”

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2 Message continuity at all levels of government is cr itical when dealing with hurricane mitigation and preparedness. A series of diverse evacuation messages during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 ultimately led to de aths and thousands being stranded without food, water or humane conditions for days. In addition, the mismanagement of information about possible levee failures th roughout the city duri ng Hurricane Katrina poised agencies involved in Hurricane Ike to ex plain all possible outcomes related to the storm’s impact and to not recreate the s cene that unfolded in New Orleans on national television. Ineffective emergency communication duri ng Hurricane Katrina led to one of the biggest failures of our government. Howeve r, what motivates citizens to respond to certain messages and not others? What type of sources and messages provoke different attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors? Will co mplacency outweigh hurricane preparedness and mitigation? Will the aftermath of Hurricane Ike support the threatening messages used by the NWS and others? Should “certain death” language be used again in emergency communication? It’s critical to understand th e attributes of hurricane preparedness and mitigation messages to diminish future risks. The NWS plays a vital role in emergency communication. It is often the main source for information regarding future hurricane projections, track, strength, storm surge, and other hurricane related factors. The NWS, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, released a hurricane preparedness guide that stated that one of th e major problems with hurricanes making landfall in the United States is resident’s pe rception of risk associated with these storms. It indicates several reas ons for lack of preparedness and mitigation procedures. Besides infrastructure problems rela ted to urban sprawl, a high percentage of

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3 the population living along hurrica ne prone areas have only ex perienced “weaker” storms and not experienced the “major” storms that cause catastrophic damage. This has led many individuals to downplay the need to evacuate and remain complacent when experts urge residents to va cate at risk areas. This study seeks to further understanding of the effects of emergency message strategies and message sour ces on individuals. The importance of understanding message effects in emergency communication is clear The findings from this study may provide information about how communicators can best structure their messages to ensure the safety of the public. This study explores message strategy effects in an emergency communication context using Hazleton and Long’s 1993 public relations process model and Grunig’s 1997 situational theory of publics. The public relations message strategies examined in this study were derived from Hazleton a nd Long’s public relations process model. Hazleton developed a taxonomy of seven public relations strate gies that organizations use when communicating with publics. The seven st rategies are: facil itative, informative, persuasive, promise and reward, threat and punishment, bargaining, and cooperative problem solving. Grunig’s situational theory of publics is used to understand publics and measure their opinions about issues. Gr unig and Hunt (1984) stated th at communication behaviors of publics can be best understood by meas uring how members of publics perceive situations in which they are affected. The th eory consists of three independent variables and two dependent variables. The three inde pendent variables are problem recognition,

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4 constraint recognition, and leve l of involvement. These variables describe “perceptions that people have of specific situations, especially situations that are problematic or that produce conflicts or issues” (Grunig, 1997, p. 10). The dependent variables are information seeking and information processing. The purpose of this study is to understa nd what strategy type and message source is most effective in emergency manageme nt communications. Below are the hypotheses and propositions this study tests. H1: In emergency communication, message s ource will influence receiver variables. P1.1: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher problem recognition than a local message source (HCG). P1.2: A national message source (N WS) will produce higher constraint recognition than a local message source (HCG). P1.3: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce higher level of involvement then a local message source (HCG). P1.4: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce higher expertise then a local message source (HCG). P1.5: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher trust than a local message source (HCG). P1.6: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce more positive attitudes than a local message source (HCG).

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5 P1.7: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher information-seeking than a local message source (HCG). H2: In emergency communication, message stra tegy will influence receiver variables. P2.1: Information seeking will be the hi ghest when the threat and punishment strategy is used. P2.2: Information seeking will be the lowe st when the informative strategy is used. H3: Level of involvement will produce the strongest effect on information seeking behavior. H4: Constraint recognition will produce the weakest effect on information seeking behavior. The following chapter provides a review of literature important to this study. Chapter 3 explains the methods and procedures used to gather data for this study. Chapter 4 reviews the results of this study, and Chap ter 5 provides discussion of the results and draws conclusions about the findings of this study.

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6 Chapter Two Literature Review The purpose of this study is to understa nd what strategy type and message source is most effective in emergency management communications. This chapter reviews the existing literature relevant to this investigation. Emergency Management Emergency management communications is “the dissemination of timely and accurate information to the general public, elected and community officials and the media. This plays a major role in the eff ective management of disaster response and recovery activities” (H addow & Bullock, 2003, p. 63). The four phases of emergency management are mitigation, preparedness, res ponse, and recovery. Figure 1 indicates the flow of different phases in emergency communication when a disaster occurs. Figure 1: Four Phases of Emergency Communication1 Communication is critical in the m itigation and preparedness phases of 1Source: http://perryema.deltafour.com/images/4phases.JPG

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7 emergency management. The mitigation phase focuses on preemptive measures that can minimize the damage of a disaster. Mitigation activities are not done overnight. These are planned activities in advance of a known ris k. An example is identifying what schools are deemed hurricane shelters and how many residents each school can accommodate. “Federal, state, and local government agencies play a prominent role during this phase and, in general, are responsible for setting th e agenda, engaging the appropriate players in planning and establishing and enforcing rules and regulations to achie ve agreed-on plans” (Guion, Scammon, & Borders, 2007, p. 21). Mitig ation promotes the implementation of strategies, technologies, and actions that will reduce the loss of lives and property damage in future disasters (Haddow & Bullock, 2003). Preparedness focuses on reducing the negati ve outcomes of disasters. One of the main characteristics of this phase is “d isseminating messages aimed at encouraging people to make choices about protective behaviors and monitoring compliance with community plans” (Guion, et al., 2007, p. 21). “During this phase, government agencies are responsible for ensuring the safety of peopl e in the disaster area and the environment” (p. 21). An example of the preparedness pha se is when the National Weather Service sends out information regarding tropical st orm and hurricane warnings. Below lists the different characteristics of emergency mana gement at each phase according to Guion, Scammon and Borders, 2007, p 21.

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8 Table 1: Major Participants in Emerg ency Management in Disaster Phases Even though communication messages are disseminated at all phases of emergency management, this study focuses on th e type of messages that get people to act prior to a potential disaster The response and recovery pha ses of emergency management are exercised when the disaster is happening or has taken place. It includes search and rescue, support labor and the coordination of aid programs at the response phase, and shelter coordination and job/training resources at the recovery phase. Hurricane Classification The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a rating system that measures a hurricane’s intensity. The scale classifies hurricanes as category 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 storms. The type of potential damage depends on the classifica tion. The scale of potential damage ranges from minimal to catastrophic. Each number estimates the scale of property damage as related to the strength of the hurricane. Hurri canes classified as cat egories 3, 4, or 5 are considered major hurricanes because of the pos sibility of property damage and loss of life. Also, the scale gives an accurate repres entation of the amount and type of property damage and flooding to expect. The wind speed is the primary factor of the scale. Below,

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9 Figure 2 gives a detailed descri ption of the level of damage a storm can bring by category classification. Figure 2: Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale2 Category Damage Level Description Example 1 Minimal Damage primarily to shr ubbery, trees, foliage, and unanchored homes. No real da mage to other structures. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Low-lying coastal roads inundated, minor pier damage, some small craft in exposed anchorage torn from moorings. Hurricane Earl (1998) 2 Moderate Considerable damage to shrubbery and tree foliage; some trees blown down. Major damage to exposed mobile homes. Extensive damage to poorly constructed signs. Some damage of roofing materials of buildings; some window and door damage. No major damage to buildings. Coast roads and low-lying escape routes inland cut by rising water 2 to 4 hours before arrival of hurricane center. Considerable damage to piers. Marinas flooded. Small craft in unprotected anchorages torn from moorin gs. Evacuation of some shoreline residences and low-lying areas required. Hurricane Georges (1998) 3 Extensive Foliage torn from trees; large trees blown down. Practically all poorly constructed signs blown down. Some damage of roofing materials of buildings; some window and door damage. Some structural damage to small buildings. Mobile homes destroyed. Serious flooding at coast and many smaller structures near coast destroyed; larger structures near coast damaged by battering waves and floating debris. Low-lying escape routes inland cut by ri sing water 3 to 5 hours before hurricane center arrives. Flat terrain 5 feet or less above sea level flooded inland 8 miles or more. Evacuation of low-lying residences within several blocks of shoreline possibly required. Hurricane Fran (1996) 4 Extreme Shrubs and trees blown down; all signs down. Extensive damage to roofing materials, windows and doors. Complete failures of roofs on many small residences. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Flat terrain 10 feet or less above sea level flooded inland as far as 6 miles. Major damage to lower floors of structures near shore due to flooding and battering waves and floating debris. Low-lying escape routes inland cut by ri sing water 3 to 5 hours before hurricane center arrives. Major erosion of beaches. Massive evacuation of all residences within 500 yards of shore possibly required and of single story residences within 2 miles of shore. Hurricane Andrew (1992) 5 Catastrophic Shrubs and trees blown down; considerable damage to roofs of buildings; all signs down. Very severe and extensive damage to windows and doors. Complete failure of roofs on many residences and industr ial buildings. Extensive shattering of glass in windows and doors. Some complete building failures. Small buildings overturned or blown away. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Major damage to lower floors of all structures less than 15 feet above sea level within 500 yards of shore. Low-lying escape routes inland cut by rising water 3 to 5 hours be fore hurricane center arrives. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5 to 10 miles of shore possibly required. Hurricane Camille (1969) 2http://www.earlyalert.com/images/Saffir-SimpsonDamage.jpg

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10 Hurricane Characteristics When a hurricane makes landfall, the magnit ude of destruction is determined by a variety of factors. These f actors include storm surge, storm tide, wind, tornadoes and inland/freshwater flooding. The level of impact is determ ined by the strength of the storm. Defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admini stration (NOAA), storm surge “is a large dome of water often 50 to 100 miles wide th at sweeps across the coastline near where a hurricane makes la ndfall” (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2001, p. 5). The top of the dome consists of ba ttering waves. The impact varies depending on the strength of the storm and the water le vel surrounding the coastline in which the hurricane will make landfall. The more shal low the water is, combined with strength, determines the height of the surge. Another factor that determines the impact of a hurricane is storm tide. This is a combination between storm surge and astronom ical tide. The time that a storm makes landfall determines the effect of storm tide. If a hurricane makes landfall during high tide the results can be more devastating in terms of property damage and loss of life. Figure 3 documents the difference tides can make on storm surge impact.

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11 Figure 3: Storm Tide Diagram3 The main determinant of the Saffir-Simpson Scale as previously mentioned is wind. A tropical storm becomes a hurricane wh en winds are measured at a sustained 74 mph or greater. Winds can make ordinary signs outdoor furniture, lawn decors, etc. into flying missiles. In addition, winds can be sust ained well inland from the initial of landfall of the storm. Figure 4: Parts of a Hurricane The final impact determinant is inla nd/freshwater flooding. Depending on the 3Source: http://www.photographers1.co m/Sailing/StormSurge.png

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12 speed of the storm, hurricanes can produce an excessive amount of rainfall in a short period of time. Flooding is often a major con cern for inland residents. Large amounts of rainfall over a short period of time can al so trigger mudslides in more mountainous regions along the East coast of the United St ates. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce (2001), freshwater flooding has account ed for 59% of U.S hurricane deaths between 1970 and 1999 (p. 7). One of the ma in reasons is flash flooding. Flash floods occur when there is a rapid ri se in water levels due to substantial rainfall in a short amount of time. These five elements determine the potenti al impact of a hurricane. Mitigation and preparedness communication informs residents about these attributes and how best to protect themselves and their property. Hurricane Watches/Warnings Once a storm is identified, the National Weather Service releases a series of advisories regarding the possibility of a tropical storm or hurricane making landfall along the coast of the United States. According to th e NWS, an advisory is official information issued by the National Hurricane Center desc ribing all watches and warnings in effect and provides details concerni ng location, intensity, moveme nt, and precautions that should be taken.These advisories describe the st orms potential landfall location by issuing four different cla ssifications: tropical storm wa tch, tropical storm warning, hurricane watch, and hurricane warning. The NWS Web site defines these terms which are provided in Table 2 below.

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13 Table 2: Tropical Storm/Hu rricane Watches & Warnings4 Type Description Tropical Storm Watch Tropical st orm conditions with sustained winds from 39 to 73 mph are possible in the watch area with the next 36 hours. Tropical Storm Warning Tropical st orm conditions are expected in the warning area within the next 24 hours. Hurricane Watch Hurricane conditions (sustained winds greater than 73 mph) are possible in the watch area within 36 hours. Hurricane Warning Hurricane cond itions are expected in the warning area in 24 hours or less. After these watches and warnings are in place, the NWS will make predictions based on various models about the possible la ndfall location of the storm. These models are often combined on a single chart to produ ce a spaghetti model. This model allows you to see the predicted direction of the storm by a variety of computer models and hone in on the consensus direction of the storm. See Figure. Figure 5: Spaghetti Tracking Model5 This is often described as the “cone of uncer tainty.” The “cone of uncertainty,” shown in 4Source: http://www.nhc.no aa.gov/aboutgloss.shtml5Source:http://my.sfwmd.gov/sfwmd/comm on/images/weather/plots.html

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14 Figure 6, takes all the forecast tracks from a va riety of different models and concentrates on a specific area. Once that area has been identified, the local gove rnment enacts their emergency preparedness plans and communicates with the public. Figure 6: Cone of Uncertainty6 The risk communication literature review is divided into two sections. The first section focuses on risk communication liter ature and Hazleton’s (1993) taxonomy of public relations strategies. In studying past risk communicati on literature, it is important to identify the right variab les to measure and common la nguage used. The first two sections will focus on the message. The second s ection of the literatu re review will focus on Grunig’s (1997) situationa l theory of publics. Risk Communication There are numerous definitions for ri sk communication. Covelo (1992) defined risk communication as “the exchange of information among invested parties about the nature, magnitude, significance, or control of risk (p. 359). This involves “the act of conveying or transmitting information between inte rested parties about levels of health or 6Source:http://dpulling.files.wordpress.co m/2008/09/cone-of-uncertainty.gif

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15 environmental risks; the signifi cance or meanings of such risk s; or decisions, actions, or policies aimed at managing or controlling such risks” (Davies, Covello, & Allen, 1987, p. 112). Many risk communication st udies use the definition of the National Research Council (1989). They define d risk communication as “an interactive process of exchange of information and opinion among individuals, groups, and institutions. It involves multiple messages about the nature of risk and other messages, not st rictly about risk, that express concerns, opinions, or reactions to risk messages or to legal and institutional arrangements for risk management” (p. 21). This definition stresses the importa nce of communication to all possible stakeholders. “Stakeholder involvement is pivotal in the development of a dialogue intended to result in a risk management or mitigation consensus” (Cole & Fellows, 2008, p. 214). In addition, Palenchar (2005) stated that “risk communi cation provides the opportunity to understand and appreciate st akeholders’ concerns related to risks generated by organizations to engage in di alogue to address diffe rences and concerns, carry out appropriate actions that can reduce perceived risk s, and create a climate of participatory and effective discourse to increase harmony and mutuality” (p. 752-753). It is critical to understand how to co mmunicate this information. Heath and Abel (1996) noted that risk comm unication studies often center upon how technical experts frame and present technical information to concerned publics in language they can understand. The National Research Council (1989 ) stated that risk communication is

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16 “successful only to the extent th at it raises the level of unders tanding of relevant issues or actions and satisfies those involved that they are adequately informed within the limits of available knowledge” (p. 21). Satisfaction of risk communication messages relies on two components. Cole and Fellows (2008, as cited in Rowan 1991) stated that “first, it must communicate the probabili ties and consequences of known ri sks to affected audiences” (p. 213). This is a critical part of risk communication. The risk communicators must present information to the public to ins till an act of urgency in mitigation and preparedness phases. Second, “it should seek consensus among these audiences regarding a specific course of response and mitigation” (p. 213). It is important to have one message strategy when communicating risks. Once various messages enter the public sphere, the public is unsure of the issue a nd what source to believe. Two common themes emerged in risk communication literature: trust and credibility. Trust and credibility are important co mponents in risk communication. “The source of an organization’s perc eived trust and credibility come s from its ability to care, competent commitment to solve the risk, honesty, and expertise” (Cole & Fellows, 2008, p.214). Spokespersons, either local or national, must be trusted in communicating this information. “Residents who demonstrated trust in industry and emergency response personnel were more likely to gather inform ation, be knowledgeable, and exhibit positive behavioral intentions regarding emergenc y response procedures” (Palenchar & Heath, 2002). The more trust individuals have in thes e officials, the more likely they will be proactive in adhering to their message. Havi ng universal trust is important. The risk communicator must know how to communicate to the various publics that will potentially be affected by the risk. “Risk communication becomes a tool for communication values

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17 and identities as much as being about the aw areness, attitudes, a nd behaviors related to the risk itself” (Palenchar & Heath, 2 007, p.127). The public has to relate to the individual disseminating the message. Another aspect of risk communicat ion is care communication. In care communication, “risks are already known to the audience or appropr iate experts, and risks for which management processes are sc ientifically determined and accepted by the audience” (Cole & Fellows, 2008, p.213). This me ssage strategy is informative rather than persuasive. Using Hurricane Katrina a nd the New Orleans levees as an example, Cole and Fellows (2008, cite Lundgren and Mc Makin, 2004) that the objective of care communication is to alert an audience to the presence of a risk and to advise appropriate risk avoidance behavior. The core focus of my study was derived from two hurricanes: Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008. These two st orms, similar in size, but not strength garnered two different response plans. Hu rricane Katrina was an awful display of emergency management and Hurricane Ike was a strong representation of message affects and coordination and tr ust in the source of the message as well as the message itself. Cole and Fellows (2008) highlighted the poor display of emergency management mitigation and preparedness during Hurricane Katrina. Cole and Fellows (2008) conducted a case study that documented the risk communication failures during Hurricane Katrin a (2005) in the city of New Orleans. They concluded that inadequate clarity, insu fficient credibility, and failure to properly adapt to critical audiences re sulted in a failure of cons ensus communication and crisis communication (p. 211). Their findings highlig hted some importan t issues in risk

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18 communication. They found that crisis message s were inadequate, message preparation prior to the crisis is essential, effective me ssages must be delivere d by credible sources, and messages must be adapted to encompass a wide variety of different demographic characteristics. “Risk communicators are faced with the dua l challenge of translating existing and emergent technical and/or scie ntific material regarding the anticipated event into lay person’s terms and arousing an understandi ng of the severity of the potential consequences an event may have on the populace” (Cole & Fellows, 2008, p. 211-212). Due to the difficulty of forecasting landf all coordinates of hurricanes days out, meteorologists predict the different characteristics of these stor ms such as paths, landfall, and strength. “Individuals who do not percei ve the risk as personally relevant may minimize such messages” (p. 212). In order to have a better understand ing of the core principles of risk communications, studies must be conducted to document the challenges/mishaps. During Hurricane Katrina, people were hesitant to leave their valuables behind and received unclear messages from officials or the lack ed knowledge on how to evacuate. According to Cole and Fellows (2008), “hurricane roul ette” was present during Hurricane Katrina. This means that citizens felt lucky they would be able to ride out the storm. Conflicting evacuation messages left vague and uncertain understanding of what to do and what was required. “When individuals perceive themselves at risk, their abil ity to comprehend and to process information declines signif icantly” (Cole & Fellows, 2008, p. 224). Language used in these messages conveyed several meani ngs. Another variable that led to many not evacuating was the lack of s pokesperson credibility. This le d to people not trusting the

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19 messages they received. Messages must be credible from credible people or organizations. Another important aspect of understandi ng risk communication messages is use of common vocabulary. Hurricane Katrina comm unication messages were filled with confusing advisory language and inconsiste nt messages. This includes adapting these messages to a variety of target audiences. Factors involved in ta rget audiences are income, education, race, ethnicity, and resident ial location. In risk communication, it is important that the communicator understand the various target audiences that will be receiving the message and how to respond to their needs. Cole and Fellows (2008) study featured different factors th at led individuals to not respond to risk management messages. These are past experiences, trus t in public officials, lack of knowledge, vocabulary, target audience, and the role of media. Past Experience Dombroski, Fischhoff, and Fischbeck (2006) offer a general approach to predicting public compliance with emergenc y recommendations (p. 1675). The approach starts with a general risk assessment that in cludes factors that coul d affect behavior. The implications of these factor s should be used to improve emergency risk assessment models and improve preparedness for disasters. Different variables play different factors in risk preparedness. Baker ( 1991) concluded the most importa nt determinants are actual risk levels, citizen’s beliefs that thei r homes are at high risk, and official recommendations and warnings. The impact of many variables, in cluding risk area, evacuation notices, housing, storm threat info rmation, hurricane probability forecasts, hurricane experience, length of residen ce, hurricane awareness, crying wolf, and

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20 demographics have an effect on preparedness. Past experience factors into whethe r you respond to risk communication mitigation and preparedness messages. Siegri st and Gutscher (2008) investigated the affects of past experience on mitigation behavior. Results suggested that “people without flood experience envisioned the consequences of a flood differently from people who had actually experienced severe losses due to a flood” (p. 771). Weinstein (1989) said that “past experience seems to be an important factor influencing people’s perception of hazards” (p. 772). On the contrary, people who had not been affected by a flood strongly underestimated its effect. Mitigation campaigns are needed to increase knowledge about these risks. “Risk communication must not focu s solely on technical as pects, in order to trigger motivation for mitigation behavior, successful communication must also help people to envision the negative emotional consequences of na tural disasters” (Weinstein, 1989, p. 771). This study highlighted the n eed for people to understand that nonexperience should not equate to low knowledge of a potential hazard and what you can do to protect yourself and your property. Pe ople can be knowledgeable about disaster risks and still not have the motivation to act accordingly. Kapuca (2008) examined the role of household preparedness in response to disasters. Findings suggested th at household and individual preparedness is an important factor in preparedness for natural disaster s. Kapuca’s study reconfirms a common theme in risk communications: complacency. Ka puca found that “households, even with significant experience with disasters, can be complacent in response to disasters” (p. 526). Why does personal experience lead to complacency? Martin, Bender, and Raish (2007) investig ated the cognitive perceptual process

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21 people go through when faced with risks. The va riables they looked at were the role of motivation, decision stages of risk read iness, and subjectiv e knowledge. Subjective knowledge, based on someone’s direct or i ndirect experience, was essential in preparedness. They investigated a number of risk-mitigating actions taken by those in risk situations. They conclude d that “personal experience ca n have a powerful impact on recognition of risk and the willingness to prot ect oneself from risk” (p. 897). These past experiences become the basis for individual beliefs in their own knowledge about risk. Halpern, Millstein, Ellen, Adler, Tschann, and Biehl (2001) found that “participants who had experienced a natural di saster or engaged in a particular risk behavior estimated their chance of experien cing a negative outcome resulting from that event or behavior as less likely then indi viduals without such experience” (p. 120). The findings suggest that behavioral e xperiences drive risk judgments. Trust and Credibility An important aspect in risk communica tion is the source of the message and the perceived trustworthiness of the source. During Hurricane Katrina, a segment of the population of New Orleans didn’ t trust officials disseminatin g the evacuation messages. This was because different federal, state, a nd local officials were disseminating different messages to the same audience. In addition, it ’s important to understand how trust can be built around these issues. Heath and Abel (1996) discovered “tha t communities that engage in more extensive efforts to create emergency respons e systems and inform residents of those measures increase the risk of tolerance of community members” (p. 151). They concluded, “when community officials provi de emergency response systems and the

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22 information citizens need to protect themselves in the event of an emergency those efforts can be demonstrated to foster support for th e industry” (p. 151). Th e argument here is that “responsible parties -industry and gove rnment -in communities where potentially dramatic risks exist are wise to acknowledge those risks and to work proactively to inform members of the public about the protec tive measures they can take in the event of emergency” (p. 153). Risk communicators must be proactive in the way they disseminate information to the public. This involves knowing that a risk exis ts from the declaration of experts in the field. Heath and Abel (1996) found that “a lthough community members are concerned that unfavorable events will occur, they believe emergency response personnel are prepared to respond properly” (p. 158). In addition, Heath and Abel’s (1996) found that television messages were the preferred way to be contacted by emergency response personnel. A key aspect of their findings was how respondents trusted government officials. Respondents “seem to trust their own judgment more than that of offici als or do not know the advantages of taking the emergency response measures recomme nded by emergency response experts” (p. 165). They concluded that “people may trus t government and industry more when those entities acknowledge potential dangers and give proactive solutions to problems rather than attempt to downplay them by stressing the improbability that emergencies will occur” (p. 170). Lack of Knowledge Lack of knowledge also has been found to impact people’s response to emergency situations. Previous research suggests that people did not know what to do during an

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23 emergency. According to Heath and Abel (1996) “Residents believe government officials are prepared to respond properly and to serve as credible sources of opinion” (p. 166). Trust is a fluid attribute the public looks for in government officials. Baker (1995) studied the effect of hu rricane probabilities on public response. Numerous hypothetical threat scenarios were used to assess hurricane probability forecasts and risk variables associated w ith public response. “The most important practical finding in hurricane preparedness is the local officials’ advice or orders regarding evacuation (p. 146) “This was the most important element affecting evacuation, regardless of whethe r probabilities are included in people’s information of not” (Baker, 1995, p. 146). The importance of trus t in public officials was critical to the outcome of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Residents said that they had the least trust for public officials and the messages they we re disseminating. Baker (1995) found that people often feel that they are more knowledg eable than public officials in mitigation and preparedness activities. Heath and Palenchar (2000) found that because “concern remains high that risk events are likely to occur and harm community safety, citizens are willing to become knowledgeable of emergency response measures” (p. 131). This knowledge “gives citizens a greater sense of control, which ma y translate into trust for industry and city emergency response efforts” (p. 131). Mitigati on campaigns can build trust in favor of community and government officials. McEntire and Myers (2007) discussed what local governments must do to prepare for various disasters. They identified a step -by-step approach to establish a process of local ordinances, assessing risk, creating emer gency operations plans, and educating the

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24 public. Through the mitigation phase, “effectiv e public relations efforts can build community support through colla borative, community-based decisions regarding the kinds of risks that exist, a nd the emergency response measures that can be initiated as needed for public safety” (Heath & Palencha r, 2000, p. 132). According to the authors, risk management, perception, and communicati on research address five themes. These themes are the likelihood that specific risks will occur, who will be affected if they occur, magnitude of effect, mitigation of the occurrence, and mitigation of impact. One of the primary goals of the practi tioner is to disseminate information to “potentially affected communities so that they know that emergency warning and response systems are in place and that measures can be taken to reduce personal exposure to the risk if it occurs” (p. 135). According to Heath (1995), “risk communication campaigns are best when they are coupled w ith community relations efforts that include messages that respond to citizens’ desire to know what to do to increase their safety in the event of a health or life th reatening emergency” (p. 135). Some of the key variables in these ca mpaigns are trust and cognitive involvement. “Trust is a central factor in predicting whether members of a community accept and rely on the conclusions and recommendations of pe ople who are trained in science, business operations, engineering, and emergency ma nagement.” (Heath, 1995, p. 135) Cognitive involvement states that the “more people beli eve that some dire consequence can result, the greater their level of c ognitive involvement” (p. 136). Some characteristics of individuals w ho are cognitively involved are that they “acquire, pause to consider, and evaluate information more thoroughly” (Heath, 1995, p.

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25 136). An interesting result of the study showed that “people who are cognitively involved have a higher sense of risk, are less trusti ng of government and industry officials” (p. 149). Public officials must understand the different comprehension levels between professional risk communicator s and the general population. Knocke and Kolivras (2007) studied flas h flood awareness in southwest Virginia. They concluded that there is a “knowledge gap between flood experts and the general public about the level of perceived risk th at the latter has toward the powerful flood waters” (p. 155). The knowledge gap affects communication capabilities and efficiency of the warning process. Their research f ound that even though people had knowledge of flash floods, it wasn’t enough to garnered a pr oper level of awarene ss. To effectively communicate this information to the public, ne w warning methods must be developed. Vocabulary Vocabulary plays an important part in how individuals understand mitigation and preparedness messages. It must consist of general terms that the majority of the population can comprehend. Communicating a me ssage with unclear language can cause individuals not to take the recommended action. Hellier, Aldrich, Wright, Daunt, and Ed worthy (2007) studied warning signal words and the meaning of their usage. These signals are often used on “warning signs and labels to denote the level of hazard implied by the situation they indicate” (p. 323). They conducted a multidimensional analysis of ra ting 17 signal words. In doing so, three dimensions emerged: the level of hazard implie d by the signal words, the extent to which they explicitly implied risk and the e xplicitness of the in struction given. The results support a general code of using certain signal words for certain

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26 hazards. This “suggests that that there might be utility in mapping signal words to the conditions that they indicate in terms of th e extent to which the situation or product constitutes explicit risk ” (Hellier, et al., p. 323). Citing W ogalter and Silver (1990), they argue that signal words recommended for use are too limited in number and are over used. This results in desensitization to them and habituation. However, previous research studies have revealed a consistent rela tionship between signal words and perceived hazards. This research “supports the use of signal words in warning implementation to quantify hazard and also suggest that the di mensionality of signal words can be further refined to include not only haza rd but also the explicitness with which risk is implied” (p. 337). Common vocabulary needs to be agreed and used among various stakeholder organizations. Manoj and Baker (2007) discussed th e lack of common vocabulary between response organizations, organizatio ns and citizens. This can be attributed to the problems related with mitigation and preparedness. Th ey indicate that the primary challenge in responding to both natural and man-ma de disasters is communication. The use of signal words and warnings were echoed during Hurricane Ike. The same message was being disseminated thr ough all communication channels. It will be interesting to see if ‘certain death’ language will face desensitizati on due to prior use and the outcome ‘better than expected ’ outcome of the Hurricane Ike. Target Audience When communicating risk mitigation and preparedness messages, it is apparent that the communicator knows their target a udiences and how best to communicate with them. Highlighted in the mess that followed Hurricane Katrina, it is important that all

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27 demographics are receiving the same message regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, socio-economic status, etc. It was evident in New Orleans that the African-American population wasn’t communicat ed with effectively. Eisenman, Cordasco, Asch, Golden, and Glik (2007) studied the factors that influenced evacuation decisions in impoveri shed communities. Using Hurricane Katrina as a case study, they indicated that family, friends, and community organizations played a positive and negative role evacuation decisions. Through a series of qualitative interviews, they concluded that disaster plan s must account for situations in less affluent communities. Questioning the orders of local officials, one responde nt said, “the last storm we had there, it was more people got hu rt on the highway trav eling away from the storm, running out of gas, accidents, than it would have been if they stayed home” (p. S111). The obstacles they encountered should lead to new strategies that have an emphasis on community-based communication and preparation strategies. Subjective norms also played a role in whether to evacuate. McIvor and Paton (2007) sought to furt her develop a model for natural hazard preparedness. They examined the role of attitudes, mitigation and social norms plays in natural hazards. Their study ex amined “whether social-cu ltural factors influence the decisions people make regarding their relations hip with natural haza rds” (p. 79). People’s attitudes and social norms influence their pe rception of these hazards and ultimately how they prepare for them. McIvor and Paton (2007) concluded that mitigation activities must be on-going within the community in future risk comm unication: “People living in communities at risk from natural hazards continue to de monstrate poor knowledge of risk mitigation

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28 procedures and a reticence to adopt protectiv e measures” (pp. 79-80). It is important to know your target audience when developing risk communication messages. “Perceptions of risks and hazards are culturally and socia lly constructed; people interpret it in the context of their experience, beliefs, and expectations” (p. 80). Subjective norms and attitudes influence the efficacy of engaging in risk mitigating behavior. Knowing how to communicate to your target audience is critical. Connelly and Knuth (1998) studied how information format can influence the extent to which target audi ences understand and respond to risk-related information. The “purpose of the study was to measure anglers’ perceptions and antic ipated responses to various health advisory presentation fo rmats so that risk communicators producing advisories could consider likely audience response when preparing information for anglers” (p. 652). Their study examined four components of risk information presentation: reading level, di agram vs. text, tone, use of in formation. They stated that “the manner in which risk information is pr esented to target audi ences is a critical influence on their ultimate response in terms of attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions related to the risk” (p.650) Doing research on your a udience “regarding information needs and communication formats may help clar ify which approaches to take” (p. 649). They found that the use of gr aphics could improve the understanding of risk information by certain audiences. In addition, the study found that there is no consensus communication strategy that has similar effect s on all target audiences. The media also plays an important role in risk communications. Media Perez-Lugo (2004) analyzed the role of the media in the sociology of natural

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29 disasters. Media has been “mainly viewed as management tools used to influence people’s preparedness and response to natura l disasters” (p. 210). Focusing in on the media-audience relationship during natural disast ers, it was revealed that “media also have latent functions in disasters, which consist of emotional support and companionship” (p.222). Perez-Lugo (2004) concluded th at disaster research point s out the role of the mass media during disasters as cr ucial in disseminating inform ation in a quick efficient manner. “There importance lies in their pow er to increase preparedness and facilitate recovery by changing people’s attitudes about natural hazards” ( p. 211). Mitigation and preparedness is key when dealing with risk communications. During the mitigation phase, “the media are consider ed a disaster information pr ovider through coverage of non-local disasters, which helps the community raise disaster awareness and prepare for future events” (p. 212). In the preparedne ss phase, “the mass media provide factual information about the approaching hazard and tips to prepare for its impact” (p. 212). Through quantitative interviews, the st udy found a lack of interest in the preparedness phase. “Instead of looking for wa ys on how to secure life and property, they wanted the physical location of the hu rricane” (Perez-Lugo, 2004, p. 218). People said they take action based on previous persona l and collective experi ences with hurricanes. “The media-audience relationship remains a ve ry important aspect of the people’s coping strategies during disasters” (p. 223). Many news organizations have the capabilities to broadcast live in disaster situations. “Media presence during Hurricane Katrina allowed the world not only to see the atrocities experienced by the evacuees but also to see clearly and repeatedly the

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30 contradictions and failings by all levels of government” (Guion, et al., 2007, p. 23). The mass media serve various functions for societ y, one of which is a channel for emergency managers to disseminate information in times of imminent danger (p. 25). Media disseminate this information voluntarily. Mass media can play a critical role during the mitigation phase because media coverage contri butes to the formation of public attitudes, which in turn influence legislative actions (p. 21). Citing Fishman and Casarett (2006), Guion, et al. (2007) noted that this information can shape belie fs, attitudes, and perceived norms and can subsequently influence behavior. Public Relations Strategies Hazleton (1993) noted that symbols are the primary means of accomplishing public relations. In order to better understand how symbols are developed and used for the purpose of communicating wi th others (p. 89), Hazlet on developed a matrix to analyze public relations symbols. The functi on element of the matrix associates the audience and the assumptions about message affects (Hazleton, 1993). Characteristics of the audience must be taken in to account in the classificati on of these messages according to their functional characte ristics (Hazleton, 1993). This allows communicators to postulate about motivational, cognitive, and behavioral characteri stics of audiences (Hazleton, 1993). The matrix also analyzes message effects and message processing at the psychological level. These “messages may be understood as object s to be understood by individuals” (Hazleton, 1993 p. 91). The psychol ogical level is most apparent in the public relations strategic planning process. This level seeks to understand how people respond to and understand communication (H azleton, 1993). Organizations use symbols

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31 to accomplish goals related to the public relations functi on. The functions proposed at this level represent “the goals of public rela tions in terms of the impact and meaning of messages to individual recipients” (p. 94). Influenced by the social change l iterature of Zaltman and Duncan (1976), Hazleton derived four message functions that may accurately capture mass media based strategies (Hazleton, 1993). He also devel oped two message functions based on Grunig’s two-way symmetrical and two-way asymmetri cal public relations models. These are the most commonly used in public relations stra tegy creation at the ps ychological level. Hazleton used these six functions to develop a taxonomy of public relations strategies that organizations typically use when co mmunicating with publics (Werder, 2006). The seven strategies are: facilita tive, informative, persuasive, promise and reward, threat and punishment, bargaining, and cooperative probl em solving. The definitions Hazleton (1993) used to describe these st rategies are provided below. Facilitative A facilitative strategy is accomplished by making resources available to an audience that allow them to act in ways that they are already predisposed to act. Resources may be tangible artif acts, such as tools or money, or they may be directions which tell someone how to accomplish a particular action. Informative An informative strategy is based upon th e presentation of unbiased facts. This strategy does not draw conclusions, but presum e that the audience will infer appropriate conclusions from accurate data. Informa tive messages may suggest a variety of alternative solutions to problems. Informa tive messages are characterized by the use of

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32 neutral language, and organic or natural patterns of organization. Persuasive Persuasive strategies are characterized by appeals to audience values, or affect and a biased presentation of information. Th ey may use language which is not neutral and reflects the importance of the issue and the i nvolvement of the sour ce in the situation. These types of messages are directive in th e sense that they provide a call for action either tacitly or explicitly. Promise and Reward Promise and reward strategies involve th e exercise of power to obtain compliance. They include a directive and a contingent out come which may be explicitly or tacitly linked to performance of the directive request. They imply or point out that the source of the message controls an outcome de sired by the receiver of the message. Threat and Punishment Threat and punishment strategies invo lve the exercise of power, threats and promises to obtain compliance. They include a directive and a con tingent outcome which may be explicitly or tacitly lin ked to performance of the dire ctive request. They imply or point out that the source of the message cont rols an outcome feared or disliked by the receiver of the message. Bargaining Bargaining is characterized by an or ganized exchange of messages between communicators. Strategic withholding of info rmation and deceptions designed to mislead others concerning your acceptable range of alte rnatives and to discover the other party’s acceptable range of alternatives are used. Ba rgaining communication is characterized by

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33 the use of contrasting symbols which diffe rentiate groups, such as “we” and “they”. Cooperative Problem Solving Cooperative problem solving messages re flect a willingness to jointly define problems and solutions to problems. Cooperative problem solving messages are characterized by the use of in clusive symbols, “we” and not “they.” In contrast to bargaining, problem solving is characteri zed by an open exchange of information. Situational Theory of Publics Using the concept of ‘publics’ derive d from classic public opinion theorists Dewey and Blumer, Grunig “formalized t hose theories and provided means for identifying and measuring publics and their opinions” (G runig, 1997, p. 9). Dewey and Blumer concluded that “publics arise around issu es or problems that affect them.” After they recognize that a problem affects them “publics organize into issue groups to pressure organizations that cau se the problems or to pressure government to constrain or regulate those organizations” (p. 9). Grunig and Hunt (1984) describe a public as a loosely structured system whos e members, existing with a pop ulation or linkage, detect a problem and behave as though they we re one body to solve the problem. According to Grunig and Hunt (1984), the situational theory of publics “states that communication behaviors of public s can be best understood by measuring how members of publics perceive situ ations in which they are a ffected by such organizational consequences” (Hamilton, 1992, p. 124). In esse nce it describes different aspects of communication effects on publics. Grunig (1997) noted that publics begin as disconnected systems of individuals experien cing common problems; but they can evolve into organized and powerful activist groups” (p. 9).

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34 “The situational theory pr ovides a means of segmenting a general population into groups relevant to public relations practi tioners” (Grunig, 1997, p. 8). This is an important concept when it comes to creating public relations campaigns. The foundation of the theory rests on the bala nce of trying to “predict th e differential responses most important to public relations professionals: responsiveness to issues; amount of and nature of communication beha vior: effects of communicatio n on cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors; and the likeli hood of participation in collect ive behavior to pressure organizations” (Grunig, 1997, p. 9). Vasquez (19 93) adds that “publics are recognizable based on their shared behaviors, and th e communication behavior publics can be understood by measuring how member s of a public perceive situations in which they are affected by organizational consequences” (p. 208). Aldoory (2001) stated that “the situationa l theory of publics is one of the most useful theories for understanding why public s communicate and when they are most likely to communicate.” She points out that th ere is a significant ga p in our understanding of the situational theory regarding any antecedent factors that may help explain involvement, constraint rec ognition, and problem recogniti on, the three independent variables in the theory. Most research ha s studied the dependent variables and the predictability of the indepe ndent variables, and most re search has found strong support for the theory. Hallahan (1999) defined a public as a group of people who relate to an organization, who demonstrate varying degrees of activity or passivity and who might or might not interact with others concerning their relationship. An active public is described as one who seeks information. Hamilton (1992)

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35 citing Grunig (1989) characterized active public s. These “people co mmunicating actively develop more organized cognitions, are more likely to have attitudes about a situation, and more often engage in a behavior to some thing about the situation” (p. 124). A passive public is the opposite of an active public. They make little to no effort to seek information. The situational theory of publics consists of three independent variables and two dependent variables. The two dependent vari ables consist of activ e and passive publics. They have also been described by their ch aracteristics as information-seeking and information processing. Clarke and Kline ( 1974) described the two dependent variables as premeditated information seeking, “the planned scanning of the environment for messages about specified topic.” Informati on processing “describes message discovery the unplanned discovery of a message fo llowed by continued processing of it.” The theory is comprised of three inde pendent variables; problem recognition, constraint recognition and level of involvement. “The three c oncepts together predict not only when people will communicate; they also predict that active communication behavior more often results in effect s of communication -cognitions, attitudes, individual and collective behaviors --than does passi ve communication behavior” (Grunig & Repper, 1992, p. 136). Grunig (1997) describes the independent variables as situational. “They describe pe rceptions that people have of specific situations, especially situations that are problematic or th at produce conflicts or issues” (p.10). Problem Recognition Problem recognition stated in Aldoory (2001) is the extent to which individuals recognize that issues or even ts are problems to be con cerned about” (p. 165). Major

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36 (1993) found that the likelihood of communication is increas ed by problem recognition, such that, among people who face problems, information seeking and processing are likely to occur even under low involvement situations. Hamilton (1992) found that problem recognition did not account for active me dia use and that other variables played a role.” Citing Major (1993), Aldoory and Sha (2007) found that the likelihood of communication is increased by problem r ecognition, such that among people facing problems, information seeking and processing are likely to occur even under low involvement situations. Constraint Recognition The second independent variable is constraint recognition. “People do not communicate about problems or issues about which they believe they can do little or about behaviors they do not believe they have the personal efficacy to execute” (Grunig and Repper, 1992, p. 135). Constraint recogni tion represents the extent to which individuals perceive obstacles, or barriers, in a situation that limit their freedom to plan their own behavior (Werder, 2005, p. 226). Citing Grunig and Ipes (1983), Aldoory and Sha (2007) concluded, “for a campaign to m ove people to develop organized cognitions and perhaps to change their behavior, it must show people how they can remove constraints to their personally doing anything about the problem. Level of Involvement Level of involvement is the extent to wh ich an issue, problem, or situation has personal relevance to an indi vidual (Werder, 2005, p. 226). Pa vik (1988) defines it as “a perceived emotional connection or relevanc e, involvement increas es the likelihood of individuals attending to and comprehending messages.” This creates an active audience.

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37 These high-involved publics of ten seek additional information to supplement their beliefs. Lovelock and Weinberg (1984) stated that level of involvement is the degree of importance or concern that a product or be havior generates in different individuals. Research on involvement and other inde pendent variables has led to a greater understanding of the probability of inform ation seeking and information processing. These studies and others have shown that, in general, members of a public are more likely to seek information and communicate activ ely when they perceive an issue to be a problem. People communicating actively deve lop more organized c ognitions, are more likely to have attitudes about a situation a nd more often engage in a behavior to do something about the situation. An active public often seeks information through a variety of media, interpersonal contacts, and speci alized channels. Passi ve publics are more likely to process information from mass media (Aldoory, 2007). The situational theory of publics has b een extended over the years by researchers testing different situations on the independent variable s. Personal and impersonal dimensions of the independent variables have been created and tested. They argued that independent variables, such as level of i nvolvement, were driven by either egoistic concerns or altruistic concer ns. Results of these studies indicated that distinguishing situations by personal and impe rsonal dimensions usefully extended the situational theory because of the dimensions’ improvement in segmenting publics. Goal compatibility is the extent to which goals or objectiv es of one party are similar to and coincide with the goals and objectives of another pa rty (Page & Hazleton, 1999). Hazleton’s (1993) public relations strategies will be the foundation for my message treatments. These strategies are ty pically used by organizations to communicate

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38 a message. Current research does not measure these strategies in a risk communication context. This study will help better understand the type of message strategies that are most effective when the public is at risk. Messages for my treatments will be derived directly from the definitions of the strategy types indentified by Hazleton. Grunig’s situational theory of publics w ill help identify the effects of these message strategies on the public. By understa nding how the public re sponds to problem recognition, constraint recogniti on and level of involvement w ill allow experts in the risk communication field to better craft messages to garner the necessa ry/desired response from the public. In risk communications, reac hing your target audience is critical. By understanding message strategies and the variables identified in the situational theory of publics, organizations will be able to reach their target publics and yield the desired outcomes. The purpose of this study is to understa nd what message source and strategy type is most effective in emergency manageme nt communications. Below are the hypotheses and propositions this st udy seeks to test. H1: In emergency communication, message s ource will influence receiver variables. P1.1: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher problem recognition than a local message source (HCG). P1.2: A national message source (N WS) will produce higher constraint recognition than a local message source (HCG). P1.3: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce higher level of involvement than a local message source (HCG).

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39 P1.4: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce higher expertise than a local message source (HCG). P1.5: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher trust than a local message source (HCG). P1.6: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce more positive attitudes than a local message source (HCG). P1.7: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher information-seeking than a local message source (HCG). H2: In emergency communication, message stra tegy will influence receiver variables. P2.1: Information seeking will be the hi ghest when the threat and punishment strategy is used. P2.2: Information seeking will be the lowe st when the informative strategy is used. H3: Level of involvement will produce the strongest effect on information seeking behavior. H4: Constraint recognition will produce the weakest effect on information seeking behavior. The next chapter explains the methodology used in this study. The experimental procedures, the treatment conditions, the instrumentation, and the data analysis procedures are included.

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40 Chapter Four Methodology The purpose of this study is to understa nd what strategy type and message source is most effective in emergency manageme nt communications. Below are the hypotheses and propositions this study tests: H1: In emergency communication, message s ource will influence receiver variables. P1.1: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher problem recognition than a local message source (HCG). P1.2: A national message source (N WS) will produce higher constraint recognition than a local message source (HCG). P1.3: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce higher level of involvement than a local message source (HCG). P1.4: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce higher expertise than a local message source (HCG). P1.5: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher trust than a local message source (HCG). P1.6: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce more positive attitudes than a local message source (HCG). P1.7: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher information-seeking than a local message source (HCG).

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41 H2: In emergency communication, message stra tegy will influence receiver variables. P2.1: Information seeking will be the hi ghest when the threat and punishment strategy is used. P2.2: Information seeking will be the lowe st when the informative strategy is used. H3: Level of involvement will produce the strongest effect on information seeking behavior. H4: Constraint recognition will produce the weakest effect on information seeking behavior. Methodology A controlled experiment was conducted to test the four hypotheses and nine propositions posited by this study. Werder (2005) designed an experiment to test the effect of Hazleton’s public relations strategies on the receiver variables of problem recognition, constraint rec ognition, and level of involvement. This study seeks to replicate and extend that study in the context of emergency communication. Research Participants Research participants were recruited fr om five undergraduate classes at a large southeastern public university: Principles of P ublic Relations; Introduction to Advertising; Mass Communications and Soci ety; Public Relations Research; and Marketing Management. The sample consis ted of a total of 147 participants. The participants included 96 females and 51 males. The age range of students who

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42 participated in this study was 18 to 44. The average age was 22. Those who volunteered to participate in the study di d not receive any incentive. Stimulus Materials Using a 2 x 6 factorial design, 12 treatm ent conditions and two control treatments were created. Each participant in the su rvey was randomly assigned one of twelve different treatment conditions or one of two control conditions. A minimum of 10 questionnaires were completed for each trea tment and control condition. A total of 147 questionnaires were completed. These treatmen ts varied by message source and strategy type. Six of the treatment c onditions created were from th e National Weather Service and six were from the Hillsborough County Government. The six message types were derived fr om Hazleton’s (1993) public relations message strategies: informative, facilitative, persuasive, promise a nd reward, threat and punishment and cooperative problem solving. Th e message treatments were in the form of hurricane press advisories with informa tion coming directly from past hurricane releases. Each of the press advisories for all 12 treatments was almost identical. The content was identical in all 12 treatments. Th e format was replicated from an official hurricane advisory sent out to the media/ public during a hurricane. The name of the hurricane, Jacob, was chosen. The name of th e storm is not related to any previous hurricane that had hit Florida. The information in the press advisory was changed to simulate a category three hurricane approaching Tampa Bay. Cities/locations in the advisory were changed to make the simulation as real as possible. The only changes that were made to distinguish the

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43 differences between the two message sources were the headline, logo and sidebar. The headline read, “Hillsborough County Governme nt Hurricane Advisory” and “National Weather Service Hurricane Advisory.” The logos of both these organizations were placed above the sidebar in the same location and of the same size. The manipula tions used to test message strategy were placed in the sidebar. The sidebar was offset from the rest of the material in a grayshaded box. The boxes on all the treatments were the same size. The manipulations ranged between 13 and 17 lines of text. Th e word count ranged from 36 to 50. The control messages were unrelated to the issue featured in the treatment materials. They consisted of a press release about a new hiri ng at the National Weathe r Service Office in Wisconsin and a hurricane preparedness conve ntion in Tampa. An identical survey followed all 12 treatments and the control condition. Instrumentation The questionnaire consisted of the variables identified in Grunig’s situational theory of publics. Twenty-six items were created to measure problem recognition, constraint recognition, leve l of involvement and information-seeking behavior. Responses to were rated on a 7-point Semantic-d ifferential scale. Par ticipants were asked to rate the indicated statements, 1 ( strongly disagree ), 2 ( disagree ), 3 ( somewhat disagree ), 4 ( neutral/no opinion ), 5 ( somewhat agree ), 6 ( agree ), and 7 ( strongly agree ) on a continuum. Each variable was tested by the follo wing statements. Problem recognition was measured by the subsequent statements: 1) Based on the weather advisory I read, I

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44 believe this situation qualifies as an emergency; 2) I recogni ze the existence of a weatherrelated emergency situation; 3) I don’t believ e this emergency situa tion is serious; 4) I want to understand this emergency situation better; 5) I need to seek out additional information to better understa nd this emergency situation. Constraint recognition was measured by thes e statements: 1) I believe that I am not able to evacuate; 2) I ca nnot do anything about this emerge ncy situation; 3) I believe that there are constraints or obstacles that limit my ability to evacuate; 4) I do not understand this evacuation enough to do anything about it; 5) I do not understand this emergency situation enough to do anything about it; 6) I do not have the ability to make a difference in the outcome of this emergency situation. Level of involvement was measured by the following statements: 1) I am personally affected by this emergency situa tion; 2) I have str ong opinions about this emergency situation; 3) I have strong opi nions about evacuation; 4) I am personally affected by this evacuation; 5) This evacuat ion does not involve me; 6) This emergency situation does not involve me. Three statements were used to measure information-seeking behavior: 1) I will actively seek more information about this em ergency situation; 2) I plan to seek out additional information on ways I can better pr epare for this emergency situation; 3) I don’t want any more information a bout this emergency situation. In addition, trust and expertise were m easured by using three statements each. These questions changed if someone received a National Weather Service treatment or a local government treatment. Trust was measured on the National Weather Service

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45 questionnaire by the following items: 1) I trust information pr ovided by the National Weather Service; 2) The National Weather Serv ice is a trustworthy organization; 3) The National Weather Service is a credible orga nization. Expertise was measured by: 1) The National Weather Service has adequate expertis e to handle this emergency situation; 2) The National Weather Service provides the mo st accurate information about emergency situations; 3) The National Weather Serv ice is knowledgeable about emergency preparedness. Trust was measured on the local gover nment questionnaire by the following statements: 1) I trust information provi ded by the local government; 2) The local government is a trustworthy organization; 3) The local government is a credible organization. Expertise was measured by: 1) The local government has adequate expertise to handle this emergency situation; 2) The local government provides the most accurate information about emergency situations; 3) My local government is knowledgeable about emergency preparedness. Attitudes toward the National Weathe r Service and the Hillsborough County Government were measured by a semantic-d ifferential scale. The terms measured consisted of bad : good, negative : positive, incompetent : competent, and not important : important. The last section of the questionnaire as ked participants to provide demographic information. This included gender, age, et hnicity, type of dwelling, highest level of education completed, registered voter, and number of children they have.

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46 A pretest was conducted to determine the va lidity of the message treatments used in this study. This manipulation check was performed to assess the degree to which the weather emergency situation message treatmen ts agreed with Hazl eton’s (1993) public relations strategy definitions. An expert panel, consisting of 7 graduate students agreed that the treatments reflected the definition. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS 15.0 for Windows. An alpha level of .05 was required for significance in all statistical procedures, which included reliability analysis, correlation analysis, linear regr ession analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Due to the sampling procedure used not all treatments had the same number of responses. The next chapter pr esents the results from the study.

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47 Chapter Five Results The purpose of this study is to understa nd what message source and strategy type is most effective in emergency manageme nt communications. This study tested the following hypotheses and propositions: H1: In emergency communication, message sour ce will influence receiver variables. P1.1: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher problem recognition than a local message source (HCG). P1.2: A national message source (N WS) will produce higher constraint recognition than a local message source (HCG). P1.3: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce higher level of involvement than a local message source (HCG). P1.4: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce higher expertise than a local message source (HCG). P1.5: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher trust than a local message source (HCG). P1.6: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce more positive attitudes than a local message source (HCG).

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48 P1.7: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher information-seeking than a local message source (HCG). H2: In emergency communication, message stra tegy will influence receiver variables. P2.1: Information seeking will be the hi ghest when the threat and punishment strategy is used. P2.2: Information seeking will be the lowe st when the informative strategy is used. H3: Level of involvement will produce the strongest effect on information seeking behavior. H4: Constraint recognition will produce the weakest effect on information seeking behavior. Descriptives Descriptive statistics were conducte d to find out information about the participants. Of the 147 partic ipants in the study, 34.7% (n = 51) were male and 65.3% (n = 96) were females. All percentages refl ect the valid sample. Table 3 shows the participants race identification.

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49 Table 3: Participants Race Identification Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent Valid Caucasian 100 68.0 68.5 68.5 Hispanic 15 10.2 10.3 78.8 African-American 14 9.5 9.6 88.4 Asian 5 3.4 3.4 91.8 American Indian 1 .7 .7 92.5 Pacific Islander 2 1.4 1.4 93.8 Other 9 6.1 6.2 100.0 Total 146 99.3 100.0 Missing 99 1 .7 Total 147 100.0 Participants identified themselves as Caucasian 68.5% (n = 100). The highest level of education complete d was ‘some college’ at 92.5% (n = 135). The type of dwelling was either ‘house’ 42.6% (n = 58) and ‘apartment’ 52.9% (n = 72). Those who surveyed did not have any children 97.1% (n = 132). Most people surveyed were registered voters at 92.6% (n = 126). When aske d if they would need to assist an elderly family member during an evacuation, 39.7% (n = 54) indicated yes and 60.3% (n = 82) indicated no. The mean age of the participants was 21.86. The ages ranged from 18 to 44. Data analysis began with an examination of descriptive statistics for all items used to measure the receiver variables of problem recognition, constraint recognition, level of

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50 involvement, expertise, trust, attitude, and information s eeking behavior. The item means and standard deviations are shown in Tabl e 4. Item means ranged from 2.65 to 6.12. The item “I believe that I am not able to evacuat e,” which measured constraint recognition, produced the lowest mean of 2.65. The item “I recognize the exis tence of a weather related emergency situation,” which measured problem recognition, produced the highest mean of 6.12. For problem recognition, the item “I rec ognize the existence of a weather-related emergency situation” produced the highest mean ( M = 6.12, SD = 1.101). “I need to seek out additional information to better understa nd this emergency situation” produced the lowest mean ( M = 4.71, SD = 1.640). Constraint recognition is reversed when looking at the mean. The item “I believe that I am not able to evacuate” produced the highest mean ( M = 2.65, SD = 1.488) and the item “I believe that there are constraints or obstacles that limit my ability to evacuate produced the lowest mean ( M = 3.85, SD = 1.650). For level of involvement, the item “This emergency situation does not involve me had the highest mean ( M = 5.55, SD = 1.540). “I have str ong opinions about this emergency situation” pro duced the lowest mean ( M = 4.02, SD = 1.474). The source in the items used to measur e expertise and trus t were changed to match the different treatment conditions. Th e source was the National Weather Service and the Hillsborough County Government in the different treatment conditions. “The source is knowledgeab le about emergency preparedness” produced the highest mean under expertise of the source, ( M = 5.26, SD = 1.339). “Expertise of the

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51 source provides the most accurate information about emergency situations” produced the lowest mean ( M = 4.45, SD = 1.350). For trust of the source, “The source is a credible organization” produced the highest mean ( M = 4.92, SD = 1.405). “The source is a trustworthy organization’ generated the lowest mean ( M = 4.81, SD = 1.577). An “important” attitude toward th e source produced the highest mean ( M = 5.72, SD = 1.213). A “positive” attitude toward the source produced the lowest mean ( M = 5.08, SD = 1.243) For information seeking behavior, th e statement “I don’t want any more information about this emergency s ituation” had the highest mean ( M = 5.70, SD = 1.655). “I will actively seek more information about this emergency situation” produced the lowest mean ( M = 4.71, SD = 1.703). Table 4: Item Mean and Standard Deviation N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation 1 PR Based on the advisory I read, I believe this situation qualifies as an emergency. 146 1 7 5.47 1.405 2 PR I want to understand this emergency situation better. 145 1 7 4.83 1.692 13 PR I recognize the existence of a weatherrelated emergency situation. 146 1 7 6.12 1.101

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52 N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation 14 PR I need to seek out additional information to better understand this emergency situation. 146 1 7 4.71 1.640 21 PR REV I don't believe this emergency situation is serious. 146 1 7 5.51 1.496 3 CR I cannot do anything about this emergency situation. 146 1 7 3.57 1.922 4 CR I do not have the ability to make a difference in the outcome of this emergency situation. 146 1 7 3.66 1.884 7 CR I do not understand this evacuation enough to do anything about it. 146 1 7 3.33 1.801 11 CR I do not understand this emergency situation enough to do anything about it. 146 1 7 2.98 1.595 15 CR I believe that there are constraints or obstacles that limit my ability to evacuate. 146 1 7 3.85 1.650 23 CR I believe that I am not able to evacuate. 146 1 7 2.65 1.488 10 LI I am personally affected by this emergency situation. 145 1 7 5.14 1.597 Table 4. Continued

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53 N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation 12 LI REV This evacuation does not involve me. 146 1 7 5.14 1.772 16 LI REV This emergency situation does not involve me. 146 1 7 5.55 1.540 17 LI I have strong opinions about this emergency situation. 146 1 7 4.02 1.474 20 LI I am personally affected by this evacuation. 145 1 7 4.74 1.625 26 LI I have strong opinions about evacuation. 146 1 7 4.05 1.379 6 EXP The SOURCE has adequate expertise to handle this emergency situation. 147 1 7 4.71 1.424 9 EXP The SOURCE is knowledgeable about emergency preparedness. 146 1 7 5.26 1.339 18 EXP The SOURCE provides the most accurate information about emergency situations. 146 1 7 4.45 1.350 8 TRUST The SOURCE is a trustworthy organization. 146 1 7 4.81 1.577 19 TRUST I trust information provided by the SOURCE. 146 1 7 4.88 1.402 25 TRUST The SOURCE is a credible organization. 146 1 7 4.92 1.405 Table 4. Continued

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54 N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation ATT GU11536902ood 146 1 7 5.25 1.166 ATT Positive 146 1 7 5.08 1.243 ATT Competent 146 1 7 5.10 1.363 ATT Important 146 1 7 5.72 1.213 5 IS REV I don't want any more information about this emergency situation. 145 1 7 5.70 1.655 22 INFOSEEK I plan to seek out additional information on ways I can better prepare for this emergency situation. 146 1 7 4.88 1.659 24 INFOSEEK I will actively seek more information about this emergency situation. 146 1 7 4.71 1.703 Valid N (listwise) 139 Prior to hypothesis testing, Cronbach’s al pha was used to assess the internal consistency of the multiple-item indexes fo r problem recognition, constraint recognition, level of involvement, information-seeking behavior, expertise, trust and attitude. Reversed items were transformed before perf orming the reliability analysis. The results of the analysis are shown in Table 5 Table 4. Continued

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55 Table 5: Final Cronbach’s Alpha for Multiple-Item Indexes Variable Number of items Problem Recognition .65 4 Constraint Recognition .66 5 Level of Involvement .79 5 Information SeekingBehavior .81 3 Expertise of the Source .73 3 Trust of the Source .90 3 Attitude Toward the Source .87 4 Five items were included to test problem recognition; however the alpha indicated scale reliability was higher by dropping the item “I need to seek out additional information to better understand this emer gency situation.” The four remaining items produced a reliability coefficient of .65. Si x items were used to test constraint recognition. The alpha indicated scale reli ability was higher by dropping the item “I believe that there are constraints or obstacles that limit my ability to evacuate.” The five remaining items produced a reliability coefficien t of .66. Six items were also used to test level of involvement. The alpha indicate d scale reliability wa s higher by dropping the item “I have strong opinions about this emer gency situation.” The five remaining items produced a reliability coefficient of .79. The th ree items used to test information-seeking behavior produced a reliability coefficien t of .81. The three items used to test the expertise of the source produced a reliability coefficient of .73. The three items used to

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56 measure trust of the source produced a reliab ility coefficient of .90. Finally, the four items were used to test attitude of the source and produced a reliability coefficient of .87. While alpha values between .80 and 1.00 indicated high reliability (Berman, 2002), it is generally agreed th at the lower limit of .70 is still a useful measure of constructs (Broom & Dozier, 1990; Stacks, 2002 ). While the situational theory of publics is a strong theory, a strong cri ticism is the weak internal re liability of the items that measure its constructs. Hypothesis 1 Hypothesis 1 stated that in emerge ncy communication, message source will influence receiver variables. Receiver va riables are problem recognition, constraint recognition and level of involvement. To test this hypothesis, regression analysis was performed. Message source, the independent va riable, was regressed on the measures of problem recognition, constraint recognition and level of involvement, the dependent variables. The results of the analysis are shown below. Proposition 1.1 stated that a national me ssage source (NWS) will produce higher problem recognition than a local source (HCG). The local government produced a higher mean score ( M = 5.63, SD = .94943) than the National Weather Service ( M = 5.36, SD = 1.04410). However, the results of ANOVA were not significant, F (1,143)=2.629, p=1.07. Therefore, P1.1 is not supported. Proposition 1.2 stated that a national me ssage source (NWS) will produce higher constraint recognition than a local messa ge source (HCG). While the ANOVA was not significant, F (1,144)=3.142, p=.078, the National Weat her Service produced a higher

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57 mean score ( M = 3.49, SD = 1.07795) than the local government ( M = 3.19, SD = .99157). Thus, there is mixed support for P1.2. Proposition 1.3 stated that a national message source (NWS) will produce a higher level of involvement than a local message source (HCG). The local government produced a higher mean score ( M = 4.94, SD = 1.04625) than the National Weather Service ( M = 4.65, SD = 1.10609); however, the ANOVA test was not significant, F =(1,142)=2.620, p=.108. Thus, P1.3 is not supported. Proposition 1.4 stated that a national me ssage source (NWS) will produce higher expertise than a local messa ge source (HCG). The results of the ANOVA test were significant, F (1,143) = 26.39, p =.000. The NWS produced a significantly higher mean score ( M = 5.23, SD = .95076) over the local government source ( M = 4.36, SD = 1.07876). P1.4 was supported. Proposition 1.5 stated that a national me ssage source (NWS) will produce higher trust than a local message source (H CG). The results were significant, F (1,142) = 44.79, p = .000. The NWS produced a significantly higher mean score ( M = 5.51, SD = 1.05697) than the local government source ( M = 4.21, SD = 1.27383). Thus, P1.5 was supported. Proposition 1.6 stated that a national me ssage source (NWS) will produce more positive attitudes than a local message source (HCG). The ANOVA results were significant, F (1,143) = 27.14, p = .000. The NWS produced a significantly higher mean score ( M = 5.69, SD = .88395) than the local government source ( M = 4.86, SD = 1.05531). Thus, P1.6 was supported.

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58 Proposition 1.7 stated that a national me ssage source (NWS) will produce higher information-seeking than a local message source (HCG). The local government source produced a higher mean score ( M = 5.28, SD = 1.43204) than the National Weather Service source ( M = 4.92, SD = 1.41293), and the ANOVA results were not significant, F (1,143)=2.297, p=.132. Thus, P1.7 is not supported. Hypothesis 2 A series of one-way ANOVAs were conducte d to test this hypothesis. Hypothesis 2 stated that, in emergency communication, message strategy will influence receiver variables. Results indicate d that problem recognition wa s significantly affected by strategy type, F (6,138)=3.00, p=.001. An evaluation of m ean scores indicated that the threat and punishment strategy produced th e greatest influence on problem recognition ( M = 5.85, SD = .76691), followed by the persuasive strategy ( M = 5.69, SD = .83256) and the promise and reward strategy ( M = 5.68, SD = 1.06646). The means for problem recognition across all treatmen ts are shown in Table 6. In addition, results indicated that level of involvement was significantly affected by strategy type, F (6,137)=2.821, p=.013. An evaluation of the mean score indicated that the threat and punishment strategy produ ced the greatest infl uence on level of involvement ( M = 5.23, SD = 1.8875), followed by the facilitative strategy ( M = 5.03, SD = .78658), and the cooperative problem-solving strategy ( M = 4.90, SD = 1.11252). The means for level of involvement across a ll treatments are shown in Table 6. The other receiver variables were not si gnificant; however, the mean scores are shown in Table 6. For constraint recognition, the facilitative strategy had the highest

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59 mean ( M = 2.96, SD = .83875), followed by the threat and punishment strategy ( M = 3.17, SD = .94281). For expertise, the persuasive strategy produced the highest mean ( M = 5.32, SD = 1.25230), followed by the cooperative-problem solving strategy ( M = 4.98, SD = .89738). The persuasive strategy also had the highest mean for the trust receiver variable ( M = 5.24, SD = 1.25230). Second was the cooperati ve-problem solving strategy type ( M = 5.21, SD = 1.09279). For attitude, the persuasi ve strategy produced the highest mean ( M = 5.62, SD = .86826), followed by the cooperative-problem solving strategy ( M = 5.49, SD = .79668). Hypothesis 2 stated that in emerge ncy communication, message strategy will influence receiver variables. Threat a nd punishment had the highest mean for information-seeking behavior ( M = 5.48, SD = 1.36572), followed by promise and reward ( M = 5.37, SD = 1.35465). Proposition 2.1 stated that in formation-seeking behavior will be the highest when the threat and punishme nt strategy is used. Thus, proposition 2.1 is supported. Proposition 2.2 stated that information-seek ing behavior will be the lowest when the informative strategy is used. However, the persuasive strategy produced the lowest mean for information-seek ing among strategies, ( M = 4.80, SD = 1.698). Thus, proposition 2.2 is not supported. While the info rmative strategy did produce a low mean for information-seeking behavior, the persua sive strategy produced the lowest mean score.

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60 Table 6: ANOVA Strategy Type/Receiver Variables Strategy Type/Receiver Variables N Mean Std. Deviation PR Threat and Punishment 20 5.8500 .76691 Persuasive 21 5.6905 .83256 Promise and Reward 20 5.6875 1.06646 Cooperative 21 5.5595 .88000 Facilitative 21 5.5238 .74542 Informative 24 5.4896 1.11920 Control 18 4.5139 1.12613 Total 145 5.4897 1.00384 CR Facilitative 21 2. 9683 .83934 Threat and Punishment 20 3.1667 .94281 Persuasive 21 3.2222 .96944 Promise and Reward 20 3.3000 .83875 Informative 24 3.4028 1.00111 Cooperative 21 3.5317 1.34125 Control 19 3.8070 1.21241 Total 146 3.3390 1.04210 LI Threat and Punishment 20 5.2333 1.08875 Facilitative 20 5.0333 .78658 Cooperative 21 4.9048 1.11252

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61 Promise and Reward 20 4.8333 1.21876 Persuasive 21 4.8016 1.06278 Informative 23 4.7319 .98311 Control 19 3.9649 1.00551 Total 144 4.7917 1.08309 EXPERT Persuasive 21 5.3175 .85943 Cooperative 21 4.9841 .89738 Promise and Reward 20 4.7667 .96791 Informative 23 4.7536 1.27215 Threat and Punishment 20 4.7167 1.14593 Facilitative 21 4.5238 1.04654 Control 19 4.4912 1.37153 Total 145 4.7977 1.10225 TRUST Persuasive 21 5.2381 1.25230 Cooperative 21 5.2063 1.09279 Threat and Punishment 20 4.9000 1.25237 Facilitative 21 4.8413 1.19545 Informative 22 4.7727 1.33090 Promise and Reward 20 4.6500 1.63469 Control 19 4.3684 1.54718 Total 144 4.8611 1.33770 ATT Persuasive 21 5.6190 .86826 Table 6. Continue d

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62 Cooperative 20 5.4875 .79668 Informative 24 5.4063 .96631 Facilitative 21 5.2857 1.17070 Promise and Reward 20 5.2375 1.02108 Threat and Punishment 20 5.1500 1.09545 Control 20 4.7750 1.33007 Total 146 5.2860 1.05495 INFOSEEK Threat and Punish ment 20 5.4833 1.36572 Promise and Reward 20 5.3667 1.35465 Cooperative 21 5.2857 1.37148 Facilitative 21 5.1429 1.20909 Informative 24 5.1111 1.67004 Persuasive 20 4.8000 1.69761 Control 19 4.4211 1.11023 Total 145 5.0943 1.42871 Hypothesis 3 Hypothesis 3 stated that le vel of involvement will produce the strongest effect on information-seeking behavior. Linear regre ssion analysis was conducted to test this hypothesis. For the analysis, problem recogniti on, constraint recogni tion, and level of involvement were the independent variables and information-seeking behavior was the dependent variable. Results indicated that the three independent variables, together contributed to 32% of the variance in information-seeking, R = .572, R = .327, Table 6. Continued

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63 F (3,138)=22.34, p=.000. However, an examination of the coefficient analysis, shown in Table 7, indicated that problem recognition pr oduced the strongest effect on informationseeking behavior. Therefor e, H3 was not supported. Hypothesis 4 In addition, Hypothesis 4 stated that constraint recogniti on will produce the weakest effect on information-seeking behavi or. The results shown in Table 7 indicate that H4 is supported. Table 7: Coefficientsa Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients B Std. Error Beta t Sig. 1 (Constant) .193 .750 .258 .797 LI .393 .122 .308 3.224 .002 PR .485 .125 .351 3.885 .000 CR .121 .102 .089 1.179 .241 a. Dependent Variable: INFOSEEK The next chapter provides a discussion of the results and draws conclusions about the findings of this study. It also includes limitations of the study, future research, and conclusions.

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64 Chapter Six Discussion The purpose of this study is to understa nd what message source and strategy type is most effective in emergency management communications. Results indicated that a national message source produced higher c onstraint recognition. The national message source produced higher expertis e, trust, and attitude then a local message source. The threat and punishment strategy produced th e highest level of information-seeking behavior. Information-seeking behavior was the lowest when a persuasive strategy was used. Constraint recognition produced the weakest effect on information-seeking behavior. This study examined Hazleton’s (1993) publ ic relations strategies. Specifically, message strategy effects were examined using J.E. Grunig’s (1997) si tuational theory of publics to determine strategy influence on indi viduals’ problem rec ognition, constraint recognition, level of involvement, informati on seeking behavior, expertise, trust and attitude toward the source of emergency communication. Four hypotheses were tested. Hypothesis 1: In emergency communication, message source will influence receiver variables. P1.1: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher problem recognition than a local message source (HCG). This proposition was not supported. Respondents indicated that they are most likely to r ecognize the existence of a problem if it is communicated at the local level. This makes sense because local officials have a better

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65 understanding of the local environment and the potential effects of an emergency situation. The local source plays a significant factor in whether publics will be active or passive. Local officials are a prominent factor in disseminating emergency information to the public. They are better educated on th e perceived risks and how to minimize the effects of the emergency. P1.2: A national message source (N WS) will produce higher constraint recognition than a local message source (HCG). This proposition produced mixed support. “Constraint recognition represents th e extent to which individuals perceive obstacles or barriers, in a s ituation that limit their freedom to plan their own behavior” (Werder, 2005, p.226). This is important because it states that national messages that are not localized for a public can lead to the publ ic feeling constraints on what actions they should take during an emergency situati on. Local officials must communicate this information for the public to feel that they can do something in the emergency situation and not feel constrained. P1.3: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce higher level of involvement then a local message source (HCG). This pr oposition was not supported. This means that publics are more likely to be more involved in the emergency situa tion if they message source is from local officials. “An emoti onal connection of rele vance increases the likelihood of individuals atte nding to and comprehending messages” (Pavik 1988). The public perceives themselves to be more invo lved in an emergency situation when the information is communicated at a local le vel. Local communicators understand the geospatial map of the area and can best make d ecisions to help the public from a risk. Once

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66 the public understands the existence of an emergency situation, having a local official conveying the message will make the public more active. The local officials have a significant ro le in emergency communication. The local source creates higher problem recognition, prod uces lower constraint recognition and a higher level of involvement. Th ese three items help shape th e role local officials have when communicating emergency messages. Not only must they be knowledgeable on the local effects of the emergency, they must shap e public opinion to get the public to act in a certain manner that is most beneficial to the community. The next three propositions yielded significant results on the a ttributes of the message source. P1.4: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce higher expertise then a local message source (HCG). This proposition was supported with signifi cance. The national message source yielded a higher level of expe rtise then the local source. In emergency communication, especially with the hurricane situation used in our treatments, people believe that there is a higher level of expert ise at the national level. This makes sense because the National Hurricane Center make s predictions about these storms using sophisticated resources. Local officials often communicate that they are waiting for updated hurricane information from the Nationa l Hurricane Center via their scheduled advisories. This may have engrained the public to view the national message source as having more expertise. The local officials mu st take that information and shape messages to reach their publics. For local officials, it may be best to communicate the source of the message as from a national source to establish the expertise of the message.

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67 P1.5: A national message source (NWS) will produce higher trust than a local message source (HCG). This proposition was su pported with significa nce. This was an interesting discovery about the trust of local officials in emergency situations. Results indicated that the public ha s higher trust in a national message source then a local message source. This may reflect back to the argument that the public is used to hearing that they are waiting on information from th e National Hurricane Center. Local officials seem to communicate the trust in the nati onal message source in terms of their communication strategy. Communicators need to factor the trustworthiness of the national message source into their messa ges to become more credible. When communicating an emergency situation, ha ving interviews and live updates from a national source may be a resourceful way to build trust in local officials. This shows the communication with the nationa l source and having them share their expertise to make the best local emergency decisions. P1.6: A national message source (NWS) w ill produce more positive attitudes than a local message source (HCG). This propos ition was supported with significance. The attitudes tested were bad : good, negative : positive, incomp etent : competent, and not important : important. The attitude ‘impor tant’ produced the highest mean score. ‘Positive’ and ‘Compete nt’ yielded the lowest means. Th is finding confirms the expertise and trust of the message source. The public views the national messa ge source as being more important, positive, competent, and good. The local message source must communicate the message as being from a national message source to have the message be perceived by the attitude s tested in this study.

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68 P1.7: A national message source (NWS ) will produce increases informationseeking than a local message source (HCG). This proposit ion was not supported. This means the public looks toward the local messa ge source to provide specific information on what actions they should take. The public needs to understand the local risks involved with the emergency and how best to prot ect themselves. While the national message source may produce higher expertise, trust, a nd attitude, the local co mponent is still an important factor in the p ublic’s actions to seek out additional information. Hypothesis 2: In emergency communication, message strategy will influence receiver variables. P2.1: Information-seeking will be the hi ghest when the threat and punishment strategy is used. This proposition was supporte d. This correlates directly with my introduction situation with Hurricane Ike. Re sidents reacted toward evacuation orders at unprecedented levels when certain death languag e was used regarding the intense nature of the hurricane. This indicates that when communicating emergency information, it may be best to communicate the ‘wor st possible outcome’ as the message. Fear tactics, since 2001, seem to have a greater effect on th e public’s actions toward an emergency situation. In addition, it makes the public want to seek out additional information on the emergency situation because the severity of it is the message. When communicating to the public about emergency situations, the threat and punishment strategy generated the highest in formation-seeking be havior. Communicators can’t use ‘certain death’ language every tim e a hurricane approaches the United States and expect to get the same reaction each time The punishment aspect of the message is

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69 critical. By saying that emergency respons e personnel are not going to risk their own lives to rescue you because you failed to listen to emergenc y evacuation messages sets a precedent that if you disobey mandatory evacuation messages that you will be dealt to deal with the consequences. P2.2: Information-seeking will be the lowe st when the informative strategy is used. This proposition was not supported. Info rmation-seeking was the lowest when the persuasive strategy was used. This means that the public doesn’t want to be told how to act during emergency situations. They want to make their own decisions on how best to deal with the situation by using the informa tion they have. This is an important finding because it indicates the type of message that should not be used when communicating emergency communication. Hypothesis 3: Level of involvement will pr oduce the strongest effect on information seeking behavior. This hypothesis was not suppor ted; however the results were significant. This means that level of involvement does play a significant role in information-seeking behavior. The more a person is involved in th e emergency situation means that they will seek out additional information. It is important to target the public that has the greatest potential of being affected by the emergency situation because it will allow them to seek out additional information on how to respond. Level of involvement and problem recognition are vital to information-seeki ng behavior. If communi cators target these publics with the correct message type, the desired response indicated by national and local officials will be executed.

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70 Hypothesis 4: Constraint recognition will produce the weakest effect on information seeking behavior. This hypothesis was supported. Constraint recognition produced the weakest effect on information-seeking behavior. A public that feels constrained during an emergency situation is most likely to become passive about the situation because they feel that they cannot do anyt hing to prevent it. These in dividuals see obstacles and barriers in the emergency s ituation that prohibits them from seeking additional information or taking action. Limitations The results are limited to the demographic surveyed. They are not generalizable to a greater population. The source of the message may not make a difference in how risk communication messages are received. The us e of ‘emergency’ is also a limitation because that definition varies among people. A hypothetical situation was used which may not be reality. It is tough to argue how pe ople in Tampa Bay would act to a direct hit by a hurricane because the area hasn’t been hit by a hurricane directly since the early 1900s. In addition, the population surveyed wa s college undergraduate students who don’t own their own dwelling. Ther e ‘life’ as a college student may not depict the typical lives of those living in the Tampa Bay area th at may deal with this type of emergency situation. Traditionally, college-students ar e not known to be an information-seeking public. Students were surveyed during the beginning of hurricane season. The season doesn’t usually increase in activity until A ugust and September. If this survey was

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71 conducted during a period of higher activit y, hurricane communication may have been more recent in their minds. In conclusion, this study discovered the t ype of message source and message type that is best to use in emergency communica tion. This study extends th e situational theory of publics to emergency communication. Future research would need to experiment with other types of emergency situ ations. Hurricanes are only a ma jor concern for part of the country. Extending this study to other emerge ncy situations could further validate the results of this study. The variables tested al so provide communicators with structure on how to communicate these messages to the pub lic. Emergency communication is critical. By understanding how a public resp onds to these messages is v ital to getting the message out to its intended publics.

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72 References Aldoory, L. & Sha, B. L. (2007). The situationa l theory of publics: Pr actical applications, methodological challenges, and theoretic al horizons. In E. L. Toth (Ed.), The future of excellence in public relations and communication management: Challenges for the next generation (pp. 339-355). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Baker, E. J. (1995). Public response to hurricane probability forecasts. The Professional Geographer 47(2), 137-147. Baker, E.J. (1991). Hurricane evacuation behavior. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 9, 287-310. Clarke, P. & Kiline, F. G. (1974). Mass media effects reconsidered: some new strategies for communication research. Communication Research 1, 224-270. Cole, T.W. & Fellow, K. L. (2008) Risk communication failure: A case study of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. Southern Communication Journal 73(3), 211228. Connelly, N. A. & Knuth, B.A. (1998) Evalua ting risk communication: Examining target audience perceptions about four presenta tion formats for fish consumption health advisory information. Risk Analysis 18(5), 649-659.

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73 Covello V. 1992. Risk communicat ion, trust, and credibility. Health and Environmental Digest 6(1):1-4. Davies, J.C., V.T. Covello, and F.W. Allen, eds. (1987), Risk Communication Washington, D.C.: The Conservation Foundation. Dombroski, M., Fischhoff, B., & Fischbeck, P. (2006). Predicting emergency evacuation and sheltering behavior: A stru ctured analytical approach. Risk Analysis 26(6), 1675-1688. Eisenman, D. P., Cordasco, K. M., Asch, S., Golden, J. F., & Glik, D. (2007). Disaster planning and risk communication with vulnerable communities: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina. American Journal of Public Health 91(S1), S109-S115. Fishman, J. & Casarett, D. (2006) Mass medi a and medicine: When the most trusted media mislead. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 81(3). Geggis, L. M. (2007). Do you see what I mean? Measur ing consensus of agreement and understanding of a National Weather Service informational graphic. Unpublished M. Mass Comm. thesis, The University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Grunig, J. E. (1997). A situational theory of publics: Conceptual history, recent challenges and new research. In D. Moss, T. MacManus, & D. Vercic (Eds.), Public relations research: An international perspective (pp. 3-48). London: International Thomson Business Press. Grunig, J.E. (1989a). Publics, audiences and market segments: Segmentation principles for campaigns. In C.T. Salmon (Ed.), Information campaigns: Balancing social values and social change (pp.199-223). Beverly Hills: Sage.

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74 Grunig, J. E., & Hunt, T. (1984). Managing public relations New York: Holt, Reinhart & Winston. Grunig, J. E., & Repper, F. C. (1992). Strategic Management, Publics, and Issues. In J. E. Grunig (Ed.), Excellence in Public Relati ons & Communications Management (pp. 117-155). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Guion, D. T., Scammon, D. L., & Borders, A. L. (2007). Weathering the storm: A social marketing perspective on disaster prep aredness and response with lessons from hurricane Katrina. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 26(1), 20-32. Haddow, G. D. & Bullock, J. A. (2003). Introduction to emergency management Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann. Hallahan, K. (1999, June). Communicating with inactive public s. The moderating roles of motivation, ability and opportunity Paper presented at th e annual meeting of the Public Relations Society of America Educators Academy, College Park, MD. Halpern, B. L., Millstein, S. G., Ellen, J. M., Adler, N. E., Tschann, J. M., & Biehl, M. (2001). The role of behavioral experience in judging risks. Health Psychology 20(2), 120-126. Hamilton, P. K. (1992). Grunig’s situationa l theory: A replication, application, and extension. Journal of Public Relations Research 4(3), 123-149. Hazleton, V. (1993). Symbolic resources: Processes in the development and use of symbolic resources. In W. Armbrecht, H. Avenarius, & U. Zabel (Eds.), Image und PR: Kann image Gegenstand einer P ublic Relations-Wissenschaft sein? [Image and PR: Can image be a subject in public relations science?] (pp.87-100). Wiesbaden, Germany: Westdeutscher Verlag.

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75 Hazelton, V., Jr. & Long, L. W. (1988). Concepts for public relations education, research, and practice: A communication point of view. Central States Speech Journal 39, 77-87. Heath, R.L. & Abel, D.D. (1996). Proactive re sponse to citizen risk concerns: Increasing citizens’ knowledge of emergency response practices. Journal of Public Relations Research 8(3), 151-171. Heath, R. L. & Abel, D. D. (1996). Types of knowledge as predictors of company support: The role of information in risk communication. Journal of Public Relations Research 8(1), 35-55. Heath, R. L. & Nathan, K. (1991). Public relations’ role in risk communication: Information, rhetoric and power. Public Relations Quarterly ?(4), 15-22. Heath, R. L. & Palenchar, M. (2000). Comm unity relations and risk communication: A longitudinal study on the impact of emergency response messages. Journal of Public Relations Research 12(2), 131-161. Hellier, E., Aldrich, K., Wright, D. B ., Daunt, D., & Edworthy, J. (2007). A multi dimensional analysis of warning signal words. Journal of Risk Research 10(3), 323-338. Kapucu, N. (2008). Culture of preparedne ss: Household disaster preparedness. Disaster Prevention and Management 17(4), 526-535. Kemp, R. L. (2006). Homeland security: Handbook for citizens and public officials Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc. Knocke, E. T. & Kolivras, K. N. (2007). Flash flood awareness in southwest Virginia. Risk Analysis 27(1), 155-169.

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76 Long, L.W., & Hazleton, V. Jr. (1987) Pub lic relations: A theore tical and practical response. Public Relations Review 13, 3-13. Lovelock, C. H., & Weinberg, C. B. (1984). Marketing for pub lic and nonprofit managers New York: Wiley. Lundgren, R. & McMakin, A. (2004). Risk communication: A handbook for communicating environmental, safety, and health risks. Columbus, OH: Battelle Press. Major, A. M. (1993). Environmental con cern and situational communication theory: Implications for communicati ng with environmental publics. Journal of Public Relations Research 5, 251-268. Manoj, B. S. & Baker, A. H. (2007). Communi cation challenges in emergency response. Communications of the ACM 50(3), 51-53. Martin, I. M., Bender, H., & Raish, C. (2007) What motivates individuals to protect themselves from risks: The case of wildland fires. Risk Analysis 27(4), 887-900. McCarthy, A., Brennan, M., De Boer, M., & Ritson, C. (2008). Media risk communication what was said by whom and how was it interpreted. Journal of Risk Research 11(3), 375-394. McEntire, D. A & Myers, A. (2004). Prepar ing communities for disasters: issues and processes for government readiness. Disaster Prevention and Management 13(2), 140-152. McIvor, D. & Paton, D. (2007). Preparing for natural hazards : Normative and attitudinal influences. Disaster Prevention and Management 16(1), 79-88.

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77 Mount, M. (2008). Weather service warns of ‘cer tain death’ in face of Ike Retrieved November 5, 2008 from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/09 /11/hurricane.ike.texas/index.html. Palenchar, M. J. & Heath, R. L. (2007). St rategic risk communication: Adding value to society. Public Relations Review 33(2), 120-129. Palenchar, M. J. & Heath, R. L. (2002). Anot her part of the risk communication model: Analysis of communication pro cesses and message content. Journal of Public Relations Research, 14 (2), 127-158. Pavlik, J. V. (1988). Audience complexity as a component of campaign planning. Public Relations Review 19, 12-21. Perez-Lugo, M. (2004). Media uses in disast er situations: A new focus on the impact phase. Sociological Inquiry 74(2), 210-225. Rowan, K. E. (1991). Goals, obstacles, and st rategies in risk co mmunication: A problem solving approach to improvi ng communication about risks. Journal of Applied Communication Research 19, 300-329. Schneid, T. D. & Collins, L. (2001). Disaster management and preparedness New York: Lewis Publishers. Siegrist, M. & Gutscher, H. (2008). Natural hazards and motivation for mitigation behavior: People canno t predict the affect evoked by a severe flood. Risk Analysis 28(3), 771-778. Slater, M. D. & Rouner, D. (1996). How me ssage evaluation and source attributes may influence credibility assessment and belief change. Journalism and Mass Communications Quarterly 73(4), 974-991.

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78 Successful response starts with a map: Improving geospatial support for disaster management (2007). Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2001). Hurricanes…unleashing nature’s fury: A preparedness Guide 1-16. Vasquez, G. M. (1993). A homo narrans paradigm for public relations: Combining Bormann’s symbolic convergence theory and Grunig’s situational theory of publics. Journal of Public Relations Research 5(3), 201-216. Weinstein, N. D. (1989). Effects of persona l experience on self-protective behavior. Psychological Bulletin 105, 31-50. Werder, K. P. (2006). Responding to activism: An experimental analysis of public relations strategy influen ce on attributes of publics. Journal of Public Relations Research 18(4), 335-356. Werder, K. P. (2005) An empirical analysis of the influence of per ceived attributes of publics on public relations st rategy use and effectiveness. Journal of Public Relations Research 17(3), 217-266. Wogalter, M. S., and Silver, N. C. ( 1990) Arousal strength of signal words, Forensic Reports 3, pp. 407-420. World disasters report: Focus on information in disasters. (2005). Geneva: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Zaltman, G. & Duncan, R. (1976). Strategies for Planned Change New York: John Wiley and Sons.

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79 Appendices

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80 Appendix A: Questionnaires Informed Consent to Participate in Research Protocol Title: Ri sk Communication ________________________________________________________________________ Please read this consent document carefully befo re you decide to participate in this study. My name is Andrew Gallo. I am a graduate student here at the University of South Florida. Thank you for taking time to participate in this study. Your participation is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. The purpose of this study is to get students to evaluate various messages. If you choose to participate, you will be asked to view several messages presented in the form of advisories. You will then be asked to answer a set of questions regarding the advisories. It will take about 15 minutes to complete the entire questionnaire. You can stop at any time without penalty and you do not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. All answers are confidential to the extent provi ded by law. There are no known risks associated with this study and there are no direct benefits to you for participation. No compensation will be provided for your participation. ______________________________________________________________________________

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81 Please read the following page and answer the questions.

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82 Instructions: The majority of this questionnaire ma kes use of rating scales with seven places. Some of the questions may appear to be similar, but they do address somewhat different issues. Please read each question carefu lly, be sure to answer all items. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. Section I: Please answer the questions us ing the scale below. Please write the number that corresponds to your choice in the space preceding the question. 1) Based on the weather advisory I read, I believe this situation qualifies as an emergency. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 2) I want to understand this emergency situation better. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 3) I cannot do anything about th is emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 4) I do not have the ability to make a difference in the outcome of this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 5) I don’t want any more information about this emerge ncy situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 6) The local government has adequate expert ise to handle this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 7) I do not understand this evacuati on enough to do anything about it. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 8) The local government is a trustworthy organization. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 9) The local government is knowledgeab le about emergency preparedness. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 10) I am personally affected by this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 11) I do not understand this emergency situ ation enough to do anything about it. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 12) This evacuation does not involve me. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree

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83 13) I recognize the existence of a w eather-related emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 14) I need to seek out additional informa tion to better understand this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 15) I believe that there are constraints or obstacles that limit my ability to evacuate. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 16) This emergency situation does not involve me. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 17) I have strong opinions about this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 18) The local government provides the most accurate information about emergency situations. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 19) I trust information provide d by the local government. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 20) I am personally affected by this evacuation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 21) I don’t believe this emerge ncy situation is serious. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 22) I plan to seek out additional informati on on ways I can better prepare for this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 23) I believe that I am not able to evacuate. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 24) I will actively seek more informati on about this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 25) The local government is a credible organization. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 26) I have strong opinions about evacuation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree

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84 Section II: Please answer the next set of questions to the best of your ability. Please place an ‘X’ on the line that best corresponds wi th your attitude toward the local government in this emergency situation. Bad ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ Good Negative ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ Positive Incompetent ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ Competent Not important ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ Important Section III: Please answer the next set of questions that best applies to you. Sex: ______ Male _____ Female Age: ______ Race: _____ Caucasian _____ Hispanic _____ African-American _____ Asian _____ American Indian _____ Pacific Islander _____ Other

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85 Highest level of education you have completed: ______ High School Graduate ______ Some college ______ Trade/technical/vocational training ______ College Graduate ______ Some postgraduate work ______ Post graduate degree Type of dwelling: ______ House ______ Condo ______ Townhouse ______ Apartment ______ Mobile home ______ Other Do you have children? ______ Yes _____ No Are you a registered voter? ______ Yes _____ No

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86 Do you have an elderly relative that woul d need your assistance in the case of an emergency? ______ Yes _____ No Thank you for your time. Have a great day.

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87 Informed Consent to Participate in Research Protocol Title: Ri sk Communication ________________________________________________________________________ Please read this consent document carefully befo re you decide to participate in this study. My name is Andrew Gallo. I am a graduate student here at the University of South Florida. Thank you for taking time to participate in this study. Your participation is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. The purpose of this study is to get students to evaluate various messages. If you choose to participate, you will be asked to view several messages presented in the form of advisories. You will then be asked to answer a set of questions regarding the advisories. It will take about 15 minutes to complete the entire questionnaire. You can stop at any time without penalty and you do not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. All answers are confidential to the extent provi ded by law. There are no known risks associated with this study and there are no direct benefits to you for participation. No compensation will be provided for your participation. ______________________________________________________________________________

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88 Please read the following page and answer the questions.

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89 Instructions: The majority of this questionnaire ma kes use of rating scales with seven places. Some of the questions may appear to be similar, but they do address somewhat different issues. Please read each question carefu lly, be sure to answer all items. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. Section I: Please answer the questions us ing the scale below. Please write the number that corresponds to your choice in the space preceding the question. 1) Based on the weather advisory I read, I believe this situation qualifies as an emergency. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 2) I want to understand this emergency situation better. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 3) I cannot do anything about th is emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 4) I do not have the ability to make a difference in the outcome of this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 5) I don’t want any more information about this emerge ncy situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 6) The National Weather Service has adequate expertise to handle this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 7) I do not understand this evacuati on enough to do anything about it. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 8) The National Weather Service is a trustworthy organization. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 9) The National Weather Service is knowle dgeable about emergency preparedness. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 10) I am personally affected by this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 11) I do not understand this emergency situ ation enough to do anything about it. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 12) This evacuation does not involve me. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree

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90 13) I recognize the existence of a w eather-related emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 14) I need to seek out additional informa tion to better understand this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 15) I believe that there are constraints or obstacles that limit my ability to evacuate. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 16) This emergency situation does not involve me. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 17) I have strong opinions about this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 18) The National Weather Service provides the most accurate information about emergency situations. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 19) I trust information provided by the National Weather Service. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 20) I am personally affected by this evacuation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 21) I don’t believe this emerge ncy situation is serious. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 22) I plan to seek out additional informati on on ways I can better prepare for this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 23) I believe that I am not able to evacuate. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 24) I will actively seek more informati on about this emergency situation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 25) The National Weather Service is a credible organization. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree 26) I have strong opinions about evacuation. Strongly Disagree __1__ : __2__ : __3__ : __4__ : __5__ : __6__ : __7__ Strongly Agree

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91 Section II: Please answer the next set of questions to the best of your ability. Please place an ‘X’ on the line that best corresponds wi th your attitude toward the National Weather Service in this emergency situation. Bad ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ Good Negative ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ Positive Incompetent ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ Competent Not important ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ : ____ Important Section III: Please answer the next set of questions that best applies to you. Sex: ______ Male _____ Female Age: ______ Race: _____ Caucasian _____ Hispanic _____ African-American _____ Asian _____ American Indian _____ Pacific Islander _____ Other

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92 Highest level of education you have completed: ______ High School Graduate ______ Some college ______ Trade/technical/vocational training ______ College Graduate ______ Some postgraduate work ______ Post graduate degree Type of dwelling: ______ House ______ Condo ______ Townhouse ______ Apartment ______ Mobile home ______ Other Do you have children? ______ Yes _____ No Are you a registered voter? ______ Yes _____ No

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93 Do you have an elderly relative that woul d need your assistance in the case of an emergency? ______ Yes _____ No Thank you for your time. Have a great day.

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94 Appendix B: Controls Veteran Meteorologist Becomes Leader at NOAA’s National Weather Service Office in Milwaukee May 23, 2009 Stephen Brueske, a meteorologist with 24 y ears of forecasting experience, begins his duties today as meteorologist in charge at NOAA’s Milwaukee Nati onal Weather Service forecast office “Steve has worked at a variety of National Weather Service locations and brings a wealth of weather forecasting knowledge that will se rve the people of southern and southeastern Wisconsin well,” said Lynn P. Maximuk director of the 14-state National Weather Service central region. Brueske’s National Weather Service experience includes serving as a radar instructor at the warning decision training branch in Norma n, Okla.; a term as science and operations officer at the Charleston, S.C., forecast office; and meteorologist in charge at the Great Falls, Mont., forecast office. Prior to his sel ection to lead the Milwaukee office, he was deputy chief of the systems operations divisi on at western region h eadquarters in Salt Lake City. “One of the most important duties for any mete orologist in charge is to make sure area residents are promptly informed of changing we ather conditions. This forecast office has a very talented staff with long-standing re lationships with local government, emergency managers and the media and I look forward to working with all our partners to provide accurate and timely weather forecasts and warnings,” Brueske said. Brueske earned his Bachelor of Arts in ch emistry, with a minor in computer science, from Bethel University in Minnesota. He studied atmospheric sc ience at Creighton University, and received his master’s degree in meteorology from Penn State University in 1990. Prior to joining NOAA he served eight years in the U.S. Air Force as a weather officer. NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and cons erves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Note: Media interested in arranging intervie ws with Steve Brueske may contact the Milwaukee weather forecast offic e in Dousman at 262-965-5061 ext. 726.

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95 Hillsborough County News Release, May 2, 2009 For Immediate Release For media use only: Willie Puz, Public Information Manager Communications Telephone: 813-307-8379 Cellular Phone: 813-546-2086 Official County Hurricane Guides Now Available Hillsborough County's Emergency Management team works year round to ensure we are ready to respond to a hurricane or any other type of disa ster. And we want you to be prepared, too. The 2009 Hurricane Guide, the Official Guide for the Tampa Bay Area is now available at local post offices, with local fire stati ons and libraries receiving them in the coming weeks. This Official Hurricane Guide, both in English and Spanish, c overs all aspects of hurricane preparedness, from knowing your evac uation zone and what to take should you need to evacuate, to advice for homebound pa tients and protecting senior citizens and your pets. A full list of County shelters, with addresses, is also provided. In addition, the Guide offers ten reminders on ac tions to take now that will help keep you and your family and pets safe. Another opportunity to get your hurricane prep aredness questions answered is at the May 31 Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo at the Museum of Science and Industry. This free event is co-sponsored by Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa. You can learn more about hurricane preparedness and the Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo at www.TampaBayHurricaneExpo.com. XXX

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96 Hillsborough County Government Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory Hillsborough County Government Office Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over western and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 hours. Please join the local government in evacuation efforts. Together we can protect the residents of our community. Your cooperation will ensure the safety of all residents as we prepare for the storm. Appendix C: Treatments

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97 National Weather Service Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory National Weather Service Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over western and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 hours. Please join the National Weather Service in evacuation efforts. Together we can protect the residents of our community. Your cooperation will ensure the safety of all residents as we prepare for the storm.

PAGE 105

98 Hillsborough County Government Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory Hillsborough County Government Office Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over western and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 hours. Please check whether you reside in an evacuation zone and proceed to a safe destination. Our office has resources you may need to ensure your safety. If you need assistance, we will facilitate your evacuation.

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99 National Weather Service Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory National Weather Service Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east-northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over west-ern and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 hours. Please check whether you reside in an evacuation zone and proceed to a safe destination. Our office has resources you may need to ensure your safety. If you need assistance, we will facilitate your evacuation.

PAGE 107

100 Hillsborough County Government Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory Hillsborough County Government Office Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east-northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over west-ern and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 hours. Current information indicates this storm may cause structural damage due to high winds, flash floods, storm surge and the possibility of tornados.

PAGE 108

101 National Weather Service Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory National Weather Service Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east-northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over west-ern and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 hours. Current information indicates this storm may cause structural damage due to high winds, flash floods, storm surge and the possibility of tornados.

PAGE 109

102 Hillsborough County Government Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory Hillsborough County Government Office Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east-northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over west-ern and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 hours. Local government values your safety. Please evacuate immediately. Our shelters still have plenty of room. your life thinking you can ride out the storm at home.

PAGE 110

103 National Weather Service Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory National Weather Service Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east-northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over west-ern and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 hours. Local government values your safety. Please evacuate immediately. Our shelters still have plenty of room. your life thinking you can ride out the storm at home.

PAGE 111

104 Hillsborough County Government Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory Hillsborough County Government Office Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east-northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over west-ern and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 hours. Local shelters currently can accommodate you and your family. If you evacuate your residence now, you will be protected from harm. At the shelters you will receive food, water, medicine and sleeping arrangements.

PAGE 112

105 National Weather Service Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory National Weather Service Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east-northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over west-ern and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 hours. Local shelters currently can accommodate you and your family. If you evacuate your residence now, you will be protected from harm. At the shelters you will receive food, water, medicine and sleeping arrangements.

PAGE 113

106 Hillsborough County Government Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory Hillsborough County Government Office Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east-northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over west-ern and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 adhere to all evacuation warnings, those who stay in their homes will face certain death. There is no certainty that emergency rescue personal will be able to reach you if the situation deteriorates.

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107 National Weather Service Hurricane Advisory Hurricane Jacob Intermediate Advisory National Weather Service Tampa, FL 1:00 P.M. EDT Sept. 12, 2009 At 1 p.m., Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) was placed under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions are likely to occur within the next 36 hours. Hurricane Jacob is moving toward the east-northeast near 12mph. A turn toward the east is expected later today. The center of Jacob will be near the entrance of Tampa Bay by late tomorrow. Because Jacob is a very large hurricane, weather will begin to deteriorate along the coastline soon. Data from Air Force reconnaissance planes indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115mph with pockets of higher gusts. Jacob is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This is a major hurricane; the damage level could be extensive. The storm is expected to produce a coastal storm surge up to 14 feet. Residents along the coast can expect to experience above normal tide and dangerous battering waves soon. Currently, water levels along the coast have already risen more than 3 feet. Hurricane Jacob is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 7 to 10 inches over west-ern and central Florida. Hurricane JACOB A category three hurricane will make landfall in Tampa Bay in the next 36 adhere to all evacuation warnings, those who stay in their homes will face certain death. There is no certainty that emergency rescue personal will be able to reach you if the situation deteriorates.


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Risk communication :
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ABSTRACT: In September 2008, the National Weather Service (NWS) predicted that Hurricane Ike would make landfall on Galveston Island as a strong category three storm. This led the NWS to release a statement of 'certain death' if people did not adhere to the emergency evacuation messages. Millions of people fled the Texas coast. Using Hazleton and Long's (1993) taxonomy of public relations strategies, experimental methods were conducted with various evacuation messages to test emergency communication. Grunig's (1997) situational theory of publics was used to determine strategy influence. Problem recognition, constraint recognition, and level of involvement were tested. In addition, tests were conducted to measure source expertise, trust, and attitude depending on the message source. Results indicated that a national message source produced higher constraint recognition than a local message source. The national message source produced higher expertise, trust, and attitude then a local message source. The threat and punishment strategy produced the highest level of information-seeking behavior. Information-seeking behavior was the lowest when a persuasive strategy was used. Constraint recognition produced the weakest effect on information-seeking behavior. In conclusion, emergency management communicators must use the correct message strategy to have an effect on information-seeking behavior.
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