Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2021-12
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2021-12

  08 Jun 2021

08 Jun 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal GC and is expected to appear here in due course.

Identifying community values related to heat: recommendations for forecast and health risk communication

Kathryn Lambrecht1, Benjamin J. Hatchett2, Kristin VanderMolen2, and Bianca Feldkircher3 Kathryn Lambrecht et al.
  • 1Technical Communication, Arizona State University Polytechnic, 7001 E Williams Field Rd., Mesa, AZ, 85212, USA
  • 2Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV, 89512, USA
  • 3National Weather Service, NOAA, 2727 E Washington St., Phoenix, AZ, 85251, USA

Abstract. Effective communication of heat risk to public audiences is critical to promoting behavioral changes that reduce susceptibility to heat-related illness. The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) provides heat-related information to the public using social media platforms such as Facebook. We applied a novel rhetorical framework to evaluate five years (2015–2019) of public responses to NWS heat-related Facebook posts for the Phoenix (Arizona) County Warning Area, one of the hottest regions in North America and the tenth largest metropolitan area in the U.S., to identify “commonplaces” or community norms, beliefs, and values that may present challenges to the effectiveness of heat risk communication. We found two key commonplaces: 1) the normalization of heat, and 2) heat as a marker of community identify. These commonplaces imply that local audiences may be resistant to behavioral change, but they can also be harnessed in an effort to promote protective action. We also found that public responses to NWS posts declined over the heat season, further suggesting the normalization of heat and highlighting the need to maintain engagement. This work provides a readily generalizable framework for other messengers of high-impact weather events to improve the effectiveness of their communication with receiver audiences.

Kathryn Lambrecht et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Important topic for heat warnings and other hazards', Wendy Bohon, 22 Jun 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Kristin VanderMolen, 13 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on gc-2021-12', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Jul 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Kristin VanderMolen, 13 Aug 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Important topic for heat warnings and other hazards', Wendy Bohon, 22 Jun 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Kristin VanderMolen, 13 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on gc-2021-12', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Jul 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Kristin VanderMolen, 13 Aug 2021

Kathryn Lambrecht et al.

Kathryn Lambrecht et al.

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Short summary
This paper presents an analysis of public responses to U.S. National Weather Service heat-related Facebook posts for the Phoenix (Arizona) County Warning Area to identify community norms that may present challenges to the effectiveness of heat risk communication. Findings suggest that local audiences tend to view heat as “normal” and the ability to withstand heat as a marker of community identity. Recommendations are provided for harnessing those norms to promote positive behavioral change.
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