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Jeannette Sutton, PhD, specializes in disaster and risk, with a primary focus on online informal communications, and public alerts and warnings disseminated via terse messaging channels. Much of her research investigates the evolving role of information and communication technology, including social media and mobile devices, for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.
Dr. Sutton has held numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, as well as NOAA, USGS, FEMA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of Naval Research.
Dr. Sutton's research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society; Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management; Weather, Climate and Society; Information, Communication, and Society; and Health Communication. She is also a current member of the Committee on Effective Communication of Weather, Water, and Climate Information (CECWCI) of the American Meteorological Society and an Associate Editor for the Natural Hazards Review and Weather, Climate, and Society. Jeannette holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and completed her postdoctoral training at the Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, Boulder.
She currently works as an Associate Professor at the University at Albany, in New York where she directs the Emergency and Risk Communication Message Testing Lab.
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Check out The Warn Room and follow the link to my webpage to learn how to write better, more effective, warnings.
Emergency managers and alert and warning originators require tools to build effective warning messages. The purpose of this research is to develop one such tool—a Warning Lexicon—that can be used to construct consistent warning messages for Wireless Emergency Alerts. Specifically, the Warning Lexicon systematically establishes a common set of statements about hazard impacts and their associated recommended protective actions that can be used to quickly write effective warning message contents.
The Warning Lexicon allows practitioners and risk communicators to (1) write effective warning messages at the time of the threat, (2) reduce message issuance delay, and (3) develop templated messages as part of their preparedness process.
We built the Warning Lexicon through a theoretically informed, multiphased mixed methods process of content analysis and subject matter expert review to verify the accuracy of lexicon statements and validate the language used to instruct message receivers about protective actions.
The resulting content incorporated into the Warning Lexicon includes 48 hazards, their associated impacts, and 112 protective action statements spanning atmospheric, technological, biological, and human-induced events. The result of this project is a comprehensive, theory-based, expert-informed, and practitioner-reviewed resource to support the composition of warning messages for imminent threat events.
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