Methodology

Methodology

Emily Gallagher and Sharon Burke conducted all of the research, interviews, and writing for this report, with research, interview, and writing assistance from Braxton Bridgers for the St. Louis and Walsh stories. Maria Elkin edited the text, selected the photographs, advised on local media, and lead the overall conceptualization of the website. Ellie Budzinski designed the site and selected photographs. Kirk Jackson helped conceptualize the site and contributed all the data visualizations. Ross van der Linde supervised all of the communications work on this project.

Over the course of this project we conducted interviews with 41 experts from 26 organizations in 6 counties. We chose the final 5 counties in this report based on a variety of criteria, including severe weather type, geographic region, population size, and demographics. We also drew from the research in our earlier report, which included federal data on U.S. counties with the most chronic severe weather. Our goal was to create a narrative report, one that gave a more personal view of the data from a diversity of voices.

In each location, we sought out key people with some role in the broader emergency management community and a deep knowledge of the local context. In all locations, we drew from five main categories of organizations:

  1. Emergency Management Agencies

  2. The National Weather Service, local branches

  3. Relief Organizations

  4. Local Media Stations

  5. The National Guard or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

We did not always draw from all five categories in each location, and sometimes we talked to multiple people in one category. We aimed for consistency across all the counties we visited, but we also wanted to allow the experts in each area to tell their own stories, including by following their recommendations for whom to interview. 

Below is a list of all the organizations that were gracious enough to take the time to meet with us, and we could not have written this report without them: 

American Red Cross, Eastern North Dakota Chapter
American Red Cross, Massachusetts Chapter
American Red Cross, St. Louis Area Chapter
Caddo Nation of Oklahoma
Casco Bay Estuary Partnership
City of Portland, Maine, Department of the City Manager
City of Tulsa, Resilient Tulsa Office
Disaster Resilience Network
Maine Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Massachusetts National Guard
Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District
National Weather Service’s Grand Forks’ Forecast Office
National Weather Service’s Norman Forecast Office
National Weather Service’s St. Louis Forecast Office
National Weather Service’s Tulsa Forecast Office
News on 6 WARN
Oklahoma National Guard
South Central Climate Science Center
Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program
St. Louis Community Organizations Active in Disaster
St. Louis County Police, Office of Emergency Management
Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District
Walsh County Office of Emergency Management
WDAY-TV Weather