On Wednesday, Hurricane Dorian was approaching Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands as a category 1 storm. American meteorologists forecasted it would become a category 2 and hit Florida a few days later.
Just like any other life-threating natural phenomenon, strong winds are usually felt on social media long before they really affect people’s life. Hurricanes, just like floods or earthquakes, are commonly surrounded by hoaxes and might trigger the sharing of false information.
To prevent this, the International Fact-Checking Network has built a quick guide that not only can be applied to Hurricane Dorian, but also to any other storm in the near future.
The five points listed below can also serve fact-checkers around the globe who are not on Hurricane Dorian’s path but will need to report about it.
Make sure you know where to find official information
In the United States, one of the best sources of reliable information is the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Its Hurricane Specialist Unit (HSU) maintains a continuous watch on tropical cyclones and areas of disturbed weather within the North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins. From them, you can expect “analyses and forecasts in the form of text advisories and graphical products” (in English).
The HSU issues coastal tropical cyclone watches and warnings for not only the United States and its Caribbean territories, but also provides watch and warning recommendations to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). A good Twitter handles to follow is @NOAA.
Remember the closer a source is to
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2019/a-quick-guide-to-avoiding-hoaxes-and-false-news-about-dorian-or-any-other-hurricane/