When hurricanes, tornadoes and severe storms threaten, there's one message forecasters want residents to know: If they don't get out of harm's way, their lives could be in danger.
For that reason, the National Weather Service plans to better describe the most perilous aspects of a storm, be they winds, rain or storm surge, and place them at the top of advisories.
"It's not necessarily an overhaul. It's just better focusing the information we want the public to really get," said meteorologist Robert Molleda, who is based in the Miami office of the weather service.
Molleda said the change stems from Hurricane Ike, which slammed Galveston and Houston last September. Some of the local weather advisories "buried" information urging people to evacuate, he said.
At least 12 people died along the Galveston shoreline where the system's storm surge hit, according to the National Hurricane Center.
In another weather disaster, the February 2008 Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak, many residents failed to evacuate because they didn't believe they were under threat until they saw a twister. In all, 82 tornadoes killed 57 people, with most of the deaths in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.
After that outbreak, the weather service found that many residents don't sense peril based on forecasts alone.
The agency also discovered that many people minimized the threat because they had "optimism bias," thinking bad things only happen to other people.
Because participation rates would determine the sports the school district would eliminate, more popular sports, especially varsity football, are not on the list.
"Football, for most schools, is the only revenue-generating sport they have," said Western High School's principal, Scott Fiske, who helped draft the proposal for high school cuts.
That doesn't mean the district won't cut back other sports. Officials could reduce the number of games played by remaining sports — except for football — as part...