Implementing A Seismic Computerized Alert Network (SCAN) For Southern California: Lessons And Guidance From The Literature On Warning Response And Warning Systems

Tierney, Kathleen J.
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Plans for using the TriNet SCAN system to provide real-time warnings must be designed to take into account the ways in which warning information is perceived and acted on by warning recipients. Close attention must be paid to developing technologies, warning messages, and dissemination strategies that succeed in enhancing life safety and protecting property. To provide guidance on warning system design, the Disaster Research Center conducted a broad and systematic review of the literature on risk communication, hazard and disaster warnings, and warning response. The review addressed a variety of topics, including the different types of systems that are currently used to issue warnings of impending threats; the components or phases of the warning process; what is currently known about factors that influence the manner in which people respond to warnings; and the problems inherent in issuing warnings that elicit appropriate self-protective responses. The review also considered such topics as which types of settings are the most likely candidates for successful SCAN deployment, what types of warning signals and messages people are most likely to heed in emergency situations, and what lessons can be learned from earthquake alerts that have been issued in Mexico City, the only community that currently uses a real-time system to provide warnings to the public. Other issues considered in this report include the potential for negative consequences following false alarms or missed alerts, the extent to which fully-automated systems could be employed in transmitting real-time alerts, and concerns centering on overall system integration and reliability, equity in the issuing of earthquake alerts, and legal liability.
Scan , Southern California , Warning Response , Warning Systems