I know I said I was going to keep the survey going all week and post the results next weekend, but I don't think it would be wise to stick around here much longer lest I say something I regret, so I pulled the plug early and ran the numbers.
That being said, I'm pleased with the survey. The survey had a total of 279 responses, and I thank each of you for taking the time to fill out the questions.
97% of respondents live in the United States, with the remaining 2% living in another country. Coincidentally, all 6 of those folks live in Canada.
54% of respondents who answered this question were female, with 45% identifying as male.
Out of the respondents who answered the question about their age, the most common response was 55 years old. The youngest was 19, and the youngest-at-heart was 77.
Those who took the survey are generally very well educated, as shown by the above chart.
The above map shows the geographic distribution of respondents who A) live in the United States, and B) answered the question asking which state they live in.
91% of respondents correctly identified that a tornado watch means that the atmosphere could produce tornadoes, but tornadoes are not imminent. 6% answered incorrectly, and 3% said "not sure."
92% of respondents correctly identified that a tornado warning means that weather forecasters detect that a tornado is occurring, or if a tornado has been spotted on the ground. 5% answered incorrectly, and 2% said "not sure."
95% of respondents correctly answered that tornadoes can occur at any time of the year in the United States.
97% of respondents know that tornadoes are able to hit large cities.
This, however, concerns me:
Only 76% of people who answered the question "is it safe or unsafe to take shelter from a tornado underneath a bridge or overpass?" correctly by identifying that it is unsafe. 14% said that it's safe, and 10% were unsure.
It's very unsafe due to something called Bernoulli's Principle.
Have you ever put your thumb over the garden hose and the water starts squirting out even faster? This is the same principle -- as the tornado's winds are squeezed underneath the overpass, the wind will go faster and make it harder for you to hang on. People who take shelter under overpasses tend to get sucked out by the winds and their bodies are never found. Do NOT take shelter from a tornado under and overpass.
75% of respondents look at weather forecasts at least once per day, with 48% indicating that they look at weather forecasts more than once per day.
The most surprising result to me was seeing that 81% of respondents get their weather forecasts from the internet, with the remaining 19% getting it from television, radio, newspaper, or "other."
Breaking down the 227 people who get their weather forecasts online, 30% get their weather info from "other" sources, 27% from the National Weather Service, 24% from Weather Underground, and the rest from other websites. The 30% "other" interested me, and I decided to go through and look at the different responses. For the most part, the 30% gets their weather info from local TV station websites (for example, WJLA in Washington DC) or other websites like Foot's Forecast or AmericanWx.
This section looked at how urgently you perceive different tornado alerts.
92% of respondents pay more attention to the weather when tornadoes are forecast.
When asked which term indicates the most danger, 76% said "tornado emergency," 20% for "tornado warning," and 3% for "tornado watch."
59% would take a tornado warning very seriously, 31% seriously, 9% somewhat seriously, and 1% "not at all seriously."
83% would take a tornado emergency very seriously, 11% seriously, and 5% are not sure.
There seems to be some confusion over what a "tornado emergency" is. It's a real thing. They're only issued when a confirmed large, violent tornado is on the ground and moving through/towards a populated area. The wording is enhanced to convey the immediate danger to those in the tornado's path.
This is the text of a tornado emergency issued for Conway Springs, KS back in April 2012:
936 PM CDT SAT APR 14 201288% of respondents are likely (35%) or very likely (53%) to take shelter when a tornado has been spotted on weather radar.
...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR NORTHERN SUMNER COUNTY UNTIL 1000 PM CDT...
...TORNADO EMERGENCY FOR CONWAY SPRINGS...
AT 932 PM CDT...A CONFIRMED LARGE...VIOLENT AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TORNADO WAS LOCATED 5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF CONWAY SPRINGS...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH.
THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION.
SOURCE...SPOTTER CONFIRMED TORNADO.
IMPACT...THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. YOU COULD BE KILLED IF NOT UNDERGROUND OR IN A TORNADO SHELTER. COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOODS IS LIKELY. MANY WELL BUILT HOMES AND BUSINESSES WILL BE COMPLETELY SWEPT FROM THEIR FOUNDATIONS. DEBRIS WILL BLOCK MOST ROADWAYS. MASS DEVASTATION IS HIGHLY LIKELY MAKING THE AREA UNRECOGNIZABLE TO SURVIVORS.
94% of respondents are likely (19%) or very likely (75%) to take shelter when a tornado has been spotted on the ground.
82% of respondents say that they have been under a tornado warning before.
Odds and Ends
40% of respondents say that there are tornado sirens in their area, compared to 41% who say there aren't any. Tornado sirens are unreliable and are not a good way to receive tornado warnings.
65% said that they don't have a NOAA weather radio. A NOAA weather radio is like a fire alarm for the weather. You NEED one no matter where you live in the United States or Canada.
When a tornado warning is issued...
48% check with other sources, like a weather radar, before doing anything;
29% take shelter immediately;
9% go outside and look for a tornado;
5% aren't sure what to do;
9% responded "other."
I threw in some political questions because, hey, this is a political website after all.
85% of respondents are members of DailyKos, with a solid majority (73%) reading diaries more than once per day. Not surprising since I posted the dang thing here.
82% of those who answered the question said that they identify with the Democratic Party. 7% identify with the Greens and 7% are independents.
95% voted in the 2012 election, with 92% voting for Obama. I would have expected that number to be lower given some of the...rather angry stuff posted here.
Job approvals speak for themselves. Respondents overwhelmingly approve of Obama and Congressional Democrats, with a near-unanimous "you suck" to Congressional GOPers.
A straw poll of respondents shows that most (36%) are unsure as to whom they'd like to be the GOP nominee in 2016. Sarah Palin leads actual people with 22%, followed by Chris Christie (13%) and "others" (11%).
The 2016 poll for Democrats is wholly unsurprising. 32% want Hillary Clinton to run, followed by unsure (22%) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (19%).
So that's that. I'll continue to dig into the results and see if I can uncover any significant results.
Any further results will be posted to my Facebook page, along with weather information. Hint hint.
Thanks again for your participation. Peace out.