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Survey uncovers Americans' lack of knowledge as well as indifference to emergency alert/notification systems

The results of Federal Signal's annual public safety survey, entitled Revealing Americans' Awareness and Preparedness Surrounding Emergency Situations, are now in the books.  And while it's true that the findings may not be particularly surprising to many professionals in the field, the 2012 study still provides some disturbing snapshots of Americans' unfamiliarity with warning and notification systems as well as the prevailing complacency (and even indifference) to emergency preparedness.

Federal Signal announced the results of the survey at the "Be Safe America" Congressional Briefing, which was presented by the Safe America Foundation in the nation's capital on June 19th.  As it has for the past three years, Federal Signal commissioned polling experts Zogby International to conduct the survey.  Among the most noteworthy findings:

  • 71% are unsure if their local community provides access to a personal alerting and notification system (ANS) that employs phone-, text or email-alerts.
  • 70% are unfamiliar with the different meanings associated with specific outdoor  siren warning signals.
  • Despite receiving a warning alert, only 47% of citizens said they would be motivated to take action during a warning of potential severe weather.
  • More than one in four respondents (28%) would require confirmation of severe weather (i.e., tornado sighting, visible fire or flooding, etc.) before taking immediate action.
  • Just 29% feel their community is investing in or giving adequate attention to public safety.

The survey also provides insight as to what it takes to prompt Americans to take immediate action when notified of an emergency; and evaluates the amount of trust citizens’ place in government public safety officials.

In the wake of tragedies such as last spring's Joplin, MO tornado disaster, where citizens hesitated to take immediate shelter, the focus of Federal Signal's 2012 public safety survey would seem to offer timely insight that will be of value to anyone involved in emergency communications.

To view the entire 2012 year survey, go to: http://www.alertnotification.com/Survey_9099.aspx