Only 16% of Young Adults Know What Emergency Sirens Mean

While more than 56% of Americans believe they are aware of the steps they need to take during a disaster, a report just released by Federal Signal has uncovered a shocking lack of knowledge and even indifference surrounding emergency alert and notification systems. As a result, many individuals fail to act with a sense of urgency during a crisis.

According to Revealing Americans’ Awareness and Preparedness Surrounding Emergency Situations, more than one in four (27%) survey respondents does not know whether their community has a warning siren system at all, and 70% are unaware of the sounds and sirens associated with various warnings. The 18-29 age group is the least aware, with just 16% claiming to be somewhat to very aware.

More than seven in 10 Americans don’t know if they have a personal alerting and notification system (call, text and E-mail messaging system) in their area, while 36% said they would be motivated to take action in an emergency if they received a personal alert. That same percentage preferred personal alerting over traditional warning sirens, radio and TV announcements and word-of-mouth communications from friends and family. Survey respondents ages 18-29 would be even less motivated by radio and/or TV announcements, with only 13% being motivated to take action by these methods of communication.

Responding to severe weather warnings continues to be a problem, with only 47% of Americans saying they would be motivated to take action during a warning. More than one in four survey respondents would require confirmation of severe weather, such as an actual tornado sighting, flood waters or visible fire in order to take immediate action.

Read the full report.

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