Research-Based Short Message Creation Tool for Wildfire Emergencies at SUPDET® 2019

Blog Post created by jrodowicz Employee on Sep 18, 2019

Wildfires continue to be a problem in the United States and abroad. According to the California Department of Insurance, the Camp Fire of November 2018 cost somewhere in the vicinity of $8.5 billion in property loss and damages. Currently, the Camp Fire is regarded as the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.
While the massive destruction of such fires is difficult in itself, the tragedy that comes from the loss of lives all the more difficult to recover from.

This year’s first day of sessions at the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference (SUPDET 2019) covered a number of Detection-related topics. But I thought I would take a moment to highlight Jessica Doermann’s presentation on Development of a Research-Based Short Message Creation Tool for Wildfire Emergencies.



Doermann’s goal was to develop a message creation tool to help agencies generate effective 360-character messages that auto-incorporated research-based best practices. Her intent was to help develop a foundation for the bridge between short message alert research and the practical generation of messages during imminent threat emergencies.


Over the course of her research, Doermann determined that the following factors were the most important when it came to getting public response to messaging:

  • Readability
  • Content
  • Style
  • Risk Perception
  • Public Trust
  • Public Action


In addition, Doermann determined that the content of an effective short message alert was typically made up of five primary types of information:

  • Hazard
  • Location
  • Timeline
  • Guidance
  • Source


However, depending on the length of the message and the amount of information provided, the order of these five necessary types of information would change.




If you would like to review Jessica Doermann’s presentation, or any of the other wonderful and informative presentations from this year’s Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference (SUPDET 2019), please visit https://www.nfpa.org/supdet19presentations


And don’t forget to save the date for next year’s AUBE’20/SUPDET2020 which will be held September 15-17, 2020 at Katholische Akademie ‘Die Wolfsburg’ Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.