Rusty Lord of WOWT tweeted about a concern that many meteorologists don’t recognize for being as severe as it is.
Still boggles my mind how many people don't know where they are located on a map. We have severe weather…you need to know that!
— Rusty Lord WOWT (@RustyLord) April 15, 2017
So many of us roll our eyes when we hear people say that there was no warning of a pending storm. Instead, it might be important to know why people didn’t receive a warning. Often, it’s because they didn’t know there was a warning. They didn’t know there was a warning, because they literally didn’t know where they were.
A study in the state of Alabama expanded on this notion. So many people don’t know their home county, or where their hometown is within the county. There are many theories as to why this might be. The fact that paper maps are no longer necessary, and the need to recognize landmarks is not as important seems to be one of them, but also a general lack of education on local geography.
Aside from severe weather, why would one need to know most of this information? For public safety, and certainly other reasons, it’s so important though. Even if we can get children educated on where they are on a local map, as well as some of the surrounding spots and local county names, that will necessarily feed into the knowledge as those kids grow up, as well as those around them.
It’s a systemic problem, but unlike most issues meteorologists deal with, the system is societal.