OK-First tools and Mesonet information applications – First insights and outlook

Authors: Dolly Na-Yemeh*, University of Oklahoma, Jad R Ziolkowska, University of Oklahoma
Topics: Qualitative Methods, Behavioral Geography, Development
Keywords: Mesonet, OK-First, Public safety, Environmental Weather Monitoring, Oklahoma
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: 8224, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The OK-First is an outreach program of the Oklahoma Mesonet providing Oklahoma’s public safety officials with weather education and critical real-time weather data. Over the past two decades, the Oklahoma Mesonet has provided training and education, and support to 1400+ public safety officials across the state.

The OK-First training provides feedback to the advisory committee on how to improve tools and educational content for subsequent OK-First workshops. Most changes such as the user-customized preferences initiated in 1998 and the categorization of weather data on the webpage into six different threat emergencies, were made based on the input from the OK-First workshop participants.

The focus of the study is to discuss products and services the OK-First provides for decision support to public safety officials. The study is aimed at analyzing group specific needs, challenges and outlook for the OK-First program in the future. This research utilized an interview to derive primary data, where the study identified the key themes of relevance using content analysis and analytic codes. These themes will inform follow-up interviews, focus groups and surveys for a choice experiment model to elicit preferences of public safety officials regarding decisions they make using Mesonet data.

The results of this research will provide feedback to better guide future changes to specific weather-related needs for future emergency management programs and data tools. Furthermore, the study will inform a research design to expend evaluation and quantitatively determine the economic benefits of the OK-First.

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