Prize Winner

Streaming Media

Type of Proposal

Digital Poster

Start Date

2017 1:00 PM

End Date

2017 2:00 PM

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Chris Houser

Abstract

No Speak, No Hear, No See: Improving Warning Systems for Rip Currents on the Great Lakes By Hannah Burdett Rip current are a natural hazard that have received little attention within the Great Lakes. Without proper education and warning systems, unsuspecting beach users may enter the surf zone and place themselves in a dangerous situation. Understanding the danger to which a rip current pose on the Great Lakes and where and when rip currents tend to develop is critical for limiting drownings and rescues. The purpose of this study is to determine when existing warning systems in the United States and Canada are accurate. Specifically, an analysis was completed on the currently established rip current warning system presented by the National Weather Service and Environment Canada in regards to the amount of information that was provided, the geographic extent of the warning and whether the warning was heeded by beach users. A survey was completed to determine how many people have seen a rip current warning before going to a beach on the Great Lakes, and how well they comprehended the warning. Respondents were also asked about their understanding of the warning system and questioned about their knowledge of how to avoid or escape the hazard. GIS was also used to determine if there was a spatial correlation between drowning locations in the Great Lakes and the warnings provided by the National Weather Service and Environment Canada. Preliminary results suggest that the warning systems used in the United States and Canada lacks in both efficiency and effectiveness. Specifically, it is argued that the National Weather Service rip current warning system is not easily accessible to the public and provides inconsistent information in both space and time. Results will be used to improve the rip warning system used for the Great Lakes that is easily accessible as well as easy to comprehend, with the aim of reducing the number of deaths that occur each year in the Great Lakes.

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Jan 1st, 1:00 PM Jan 1st, 2:00 PM

No Speak, No Hear, No See: Improving Warning Systems for Rip Currents on the Great Lakes

No Speak, No Hear, No See: Improving Warning Systems for Rip Currents on the Great Lakes By Hannah Burdett Rip current are a natural hazard that have received little attention within the Great Lakes. Without proper education and warning systems, unsuspecting beach users may enter the surf zone and place themselves in a dangerous situation. Understanding the danger to which a rip current pose on the Great Lakes and where and when rip currents tend to develop is critical for limiting drownings and rescues. The purpose of this study is to determine when existing warning systems in the United States and Canada are accurate. Specifically, an analysis was completed on the currently established rip current warning system presented by the National Weather Service and Environment Canada in regards to the amount of information that was provided, the geographic extent of the warning and whether the warning was heeded by beach users. A survey was completed to determine how many people have seen a rip current warning before going to a beach on the Great Lakes, and how well they comprehended the warning. Respondents were also asked about their understanding of the warning system and questioned about their knowledge of how to avoid or escape the hazard. GIS was also used to determine if there was a spatial correlation between drowning locations in the Great Lakes and the warnings provided by the National Weather Service and Environment Canada. Preliminary results suggest that the warning systems used in the United States and Canada lacks in both efficiency and effectiveness. Specifically, it is argued that the National Weather Service rip current warning system is not easily accessible to the public and provides inconsistent information in both space and time. Results will be used to improve the rip warning system used for the Great Lakes that is easily accessible as well as easy to comprehend, with the aim of reducing the number of deaths that occur each year in the Great Lakes.