Title

Slap you in your face: A study of rip current warning dissemination methods

Prize Winner

Science

Community Connection Award

Streaming Media

Type of Proposal

Digital Poster

Start Date

31-3-2017 1:00 PM

End Date

31-3-2017 2:00 PM

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Chris Houser

Abstract

Rip currents are seaward directed currents that can pull individuals offshore, even experienced swimmers can drown under the right conditions. The frequency of rip current related fatalities in the Great Lakes suggest there is a disconnection between the delivery of safety messages or warnings, and individual processing of that information. People notice, accept and respond to warnings in unique ways based on a combination of factors including age, gender and their self-rated swimming ability. More study needs to be conducted on the effect these factors have in how individuals interpret these messages and as a result; their likeliness to be caught in a rip current. The purpose of this paper is to increase rip current safety and awareness for beach goers in the most efficient way possible. A beach safety survey was conducted at the University of Windsor, distributed through internet portals such as Facebook and Twitter, in attempt to determine the usefulness of various rip current outreach mechanisms on different demographics. Based on the results of the survey, suggestions will be provided on the most effective ways to reach certain audiences. A large number of rip current incidences could be prevented if dissemination mechanisms such as beach signage, radio, television or social media, reached the appropriate audiences in a more effective manner. Keywords: Great Lakes, Rip current, Media

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Mar 31st, 1:00 PM Mar 31st, 2:00 PM

Slap you in your face: A study of rip current warning dissemination methods

Rip currents are seaward directed currents that can pull individuals offshore, even experienced swimmers can drown under the right conditions. The frequency of rip current related fatalities in the Great Lakes suggest there is a disconnection between the delivery of safety messages or warnings, and individual processing of that information. People notice, accept and respond to warnings in unique ways based on a combination of factors including age, gender and their self-rated swimming ability. More study needs to be conducted on the effect these factors have in how individuals interpret these messages and as a result; their likeliness to be caught in a rip current. The purpose of this paper is to increase rip current safety and awareness for beach goers in the most efficient way possible. A beach safety survey was conducted at the University of Windsor, distributed through internet portals such as Facebook and Twitter, in attempt to determine the usefulness of various rip current outreach mechanisms on different demographics. Based on the results of the survey, suggestions will be provided on the most effective ways to reach certain audiences. A large number of rip current incidences could be prevented if dissemination mechanisms such as beach signage, radio, television or social media, reached the appropriate audiences in a more effective manner. Keywords: Great Lakes, Rip current, Media