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Replication for 'Public understanding of local tornado characteristics and perceived protection from land-surface features in Tennessee, USA' (PLOS ONE)

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Ellis, Kelsey Nicole (University of Tennessee)
  • Mason, Lisa Reyes (University of Tennessee)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    • Award Number: NA15OAR4590225
Free Keywords
tornado; phone survey; perception; risk
  • Abstract

    Misunderstandings about the influence of land-surface features on tornado frequency and other tornado-related misconceptions may affect how people prepare for and behave during hazardous weather events. This research uses a phone survey (n = 1804) to assess how participants in three regions of Tennessee perceive their local tornado characteristics (i.e., direction of travel, seasonality, and diurnal timing) and their belief in protection from land-surface features (i.e., hills, water bodies, and buildings). Region of residence influences most beliefs in local tornado characteristics, and demographic characteristics, specifically age and gender, also have some influence. Residents in hilly East Tennessee are more likely to believe they are protected by hills and underestimate the proportion of nocturnal tornadoes, while residents in West Tennessee are more likely to believe they are protected by water bodies, perhaps because of proximity to the Mississippi River. Outside of the typical severe-weather season, participants were confused on when tornadoes were likely to occur; specifically, they did not recognize their local wintertime tornado activity. Because public perceptions are related to local features, local organizations and personnel, for example National Weather Service offices and television meteorologists, may be most helpful in dispelling these misconceptions.
  • Weighting

  • Technical Information

    Response Rates: Response rates were 14.1% and 19.7% for the landline and cell phone samples, respectively.
  • Technical Information

    Presence of Common Scales: Several Likert-type scales were used, as well as open-ended questions.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2015-10-01 / 2019-10-01
    Time Period: Thu Oct 01 00:00:00 EDT 2015--Tue Oct 01 00:00:00 EDT 2019
  • 2016-02-15 / 2016-07-01
    Collection Date(s): Mon Feb 15 00:00:00 EST 2016--Fri Jul 01 00:00:00 EDT 2016
Geographic Coverage
  • Tennessee, USA
Sampled Universe
We sampled residents in counties containing the three largest cities in Tennessee (Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville) and three counties adjacent to each. The western Tennessee region (Memphis and surrounding area) includes Fayette, Haywood, Shelby, and Tipton counties; the middle Tennessee region (Nashville and surrounding area) includes Davidson, Robertson, Rutherford, and Williamson counties; and the eastern Tennessee region (Knoxville and surrounding area) includes Anderson, Knox, Loudon, and Union counties. Participants were 18 years or older.Smallest Geographic Unit: Tennessee, USA
Quota sampling was used to gain near-equal participation among counties. Within counties, random sampling of landline and cell phone numbers was used. There were 131–175 participants per county for a total of 1804 survey participants. 
Collection Mode
  • computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)~~

     Participants were asked 51 questions, some categorical and some open-ended. For questions with a set of possible answers, the answers were read aloud to participants in the order given. Questions that were used in these analyses are bolded, and these are the data provided here. Surveys lasted approximately 15 min each, and participants received a 10-dollar (USD) gift card for their time. 

    The phone survey was performed by Human Dimensions Research Lab between February and July 2016, after approval by Institutional Review Board for research with human subjects at the University of Tennessee (UTK IRB-15-02696-XP). The survey was administered with computer-assisted telephone interviewing technology. 

  • Ellis, Kelsey, Lisa Mason, and Kelly Gassert. “Public Understanding of Local Tornado Characteristics and Perceived Protection from Land-Surface Features in Tennessee, USA.” PLOS ONE in revision (n.d.).

Update Metadata: 2019-10-31 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2019-10-31

Ellis, Kelsey Nicole; Mason, Lisa Reyes (2019): Replication for 'Public understanding of local tornado characteristics and perceived protection from land-surface features in Tennessee, USA' (PLOS ONE). Version: V0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.