Many warning-related endeavours have referred to "The Last Mile" which means reaching the right people at the right time with the right information. Two inherent flaws emerge. First, it emphasises external information, privileging a top-down, one-way transfer from the outside "experts" to the unknowledgeable users. Second, it leaves people involved out of the process until the final step, which means that users might need to conform to the products and services developed by the information providers. As an alternative, this session explores "The First Mile" of weather and climate information to provide weather and climate warning by starting with people using the information and affected by the warning. From the beginning, they should be part of the process of developing products and services, remaining central to defining and implementing information and warning needs. The First Mile retains the Last Mile's ethos of ensuring that the right people have the right information at the right time for the warnings they need. It flips the order and changes the starting point by beginning with the people who need and use the information and warnings, including their understandings and knowledge, to build technical aspects within the social context. This contrasts with The Last Mile starting with the remote operators of the technical system, assuming that external knowledge must be transferred to communities, and expecting local cultures to adapt to the external intervention. It is certainly possible that warning and information end up being the same from operational and technological perspectives, but the First Mile has improved uptake, trust, and credibility by involving the people affected from beginning to end. The First Mile approach does not state that users can or should provide everything or control the entire process. Rather, it is collaborative with everyone contributing, but involving the people affected first and ensuring that their needs are met with weather and climate warning and information. We welcome abstracts on:
- Theoretical innovations and limitations of The First Mile.
- Examples of The First Mile or aspects thereof from any culture and historical time period.
- Suggestions, plans, or speculations on pursuing The First Mile in the future.
- Examples and descriptions where The First Mile would not work or was tried unsuccessfully.
- Any other topics or approaches related to the "miles" of weather and climate warning and information.