Session 11.1 The Designated Weather Watcher – The Key to Public Preparedness

Wednesday, 8 November 2006: 4:30 PM
St. Louis AB (Adam's Mark Hotel)
Aimee Devaris, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and D. McCarthy

Presentation PDF (45.3 kB)

Hazardous weather preparedness planning at the community, workplace, and individual household level should include the identification of a "Designated Weather Watcher." A Designated Weather Watcher is a person who remains aware of weather conditions on the behalf of others and takes action when there is a developing weather emergency to move people to safety.

Media reports, post-disaster assessments, and other case studies have highlighted and commended activities representative of a Designated Weather Watcher. However, the concept needs additional focus and integration into disaster planning to help reduce the number of people injured or killed while unaware of severe weather warnings in their area. Advancing communications technologies and upcoming improvements in the National Weather Service (NWS) severe weather warning products make the role of the Designated Weather Watcher easier and more effective.

This paper outlines the role of the Designated Weather Watcher in a hazardous weather action plan, discusses the benefits of such planning, and exhibits real-life success stories to underscore the effectiveness of the concept.

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