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.