Public Response to CMAS Messages

As of Friday, March 16, 2012, this discussion forum is closed.

The focus of this forum is to discuss and prioritize our needs for understanding how the public will respond to Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS) messages. We have identified a number of research questions in this area, and we want your input on which are the most critical areas for investment. Essentially, we're here to answer the question:

For CMAS to be effective, what do we need to know about how the public responds to mobile alerts?


Public Response to CMAS Messages

Training Emergency Managers

FEMA and its partners (e.g., the National Weather Service) should work closely with their partners in the emergency management community to train these professionals about the CMAS/PLAN initiative.

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Public Response to CMAS Messages

How can we assess public behavior in real time?

This is a deep problem that goes not just to CMAS, nor even to Emergency Public Information generally, but to almost everything we do at response time, and a lot in mitigation, preparation and recovery as well. An added constraint is that these assessments must be and (even more challenging) must be perceived as legitimate activities by officialdom, lest they spark a political backlash. One key might be to make the ...more »

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Public Response to CMAS Messages

How can we help alert originators generate effective messages?

What are the barriers to effective CMAS use by responsible officials, and how can those be reduced or eliminated?

 

Scope might include usability of alert origination tools, but also providing clear expectations and policy "top cover" for alert originators... most of whom will only issue a few public warnings in their whole careers.

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Public Response to CMAS Messages

What is the optimal CMAS text alert length?

The CMAS 90 character limit was set for somewhat arbitrary technical reasons and did not reflect any research into the actual effectiveness of short text alerts. Note that the answer may be different for different languages, and needs to accomodate unfamiliar as well as expected hazard-types. Note also that effectiveness needs to be defined in measurable terms, and may have multiple dimensions, e.g., convenience for ...more »

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Public Response to CMAS Messages

Need for performance metrics and goals

EMs have long asked for 'better' warning capabilities. The federal report, Effective Disaster Warnings, calls for 'more effective' warning capabilities. What specifically does 'better' mean? When is 'more effective' sufficiently effective? How does one make decisions involving technical risk and system functionality without such info?

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Public Response to CMAS Messages

What does the public need to understand to accept CMAS?

Since only some people will have CMAS-enabled devices when the system rolls out and additional people will be added over time, public familiarity with CMAS will be gradual and uneven. As such, what information needs to be shared or training needs to be provided to educate people and institutions about CMAS, including what to do following a CMAS alert? Some possible issues to provide education on: Types of threats the ...more »

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Public Response to CMAS Messages

What populations are best reached and served by mobile alerts?

CMAS will serve some populations better than others. These populations may be defined by geography, special needs, or socioeconomic backgrounds. Different segments of the population react differently to emergencies and emergency alerts. It is important to identify the effect that CMAS messages have on different population groups and use this information to inform the use and expectations of CMAS.

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Public Response to CMAS Messages

How will the public respond to a new alerts and warnings system?

What are the expectations of public behavior in response to the addition of CMAS, a new alerts and warnings system, to existing alerts and warnings systems? Which outreach activities increase adoption behavior at a low cost?

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Public Response to CMAS Messages

How does CMAS alert information spread through the population?

After a CMAS alert is issued, how does information diffuse across networks, technology platforms, and through populations that are both at risk and not at risk? What effect does this information diffusion have on public response?

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Public Response to CMAS Messages

How can CMAS best communicate to non-English speakers?

What are the most effective ways for CMAS to reach, communicate with, and adapt alerts and warnings to non-English speaking populations?

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Public Response to CMAS Messages

How should CMAS best communicate with special needs populations?

What are the most effective ways for CMAS to reach, communicate with, and adapt alerts and warnings to persons with functional and access needs? Examples of persons with functional and access needs include people who are deaf and hearing impaired, sight impaired, unable to speak, with a learning disability, or are mobility impaired.

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Public Response to CMAS Messages

How can CMAS best communicate to institutionalized populations?

What are the most effective ways for CMAS to reach, communicate with, and adapt alerts and warnings to institutionalized populations? Examples of institutional populations include students, people in nursing homes, and people in hospitals.

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