8A.5 Emergency Managers: Weather Communication and Training

Tuesday, 28 October 2008: 2:30 PM
North & Center Ballroom (Hilton DeSoto)
Somer A. Erickson, NSSL/NOAA, Norman, OK ; and H. E. Brooks, J. G. LaDue, and H. D. O'Hair

The National Weather Service (NWS) provides a wide variety of products and services that are utilized by the government, public and private sector across the country. Officials in the government sector utilize the information provided from the NWS in making decisions that affect the public at large, commonly during periods of severe weather.

One of the primary users of this information is emergency managers. NWS products are a valued asset to the local emergency manager during periods of severe weather. However, effective use of the NWS products by the local emergency managers is somewhat limited. There are few individuals working in the local jurisdictions that have a full understanding of the NWS products and are unable to utilize the NWS products to maximize effectiveness.

Currently, standard training on NWS products is limited. As a result, there are two major areas of concern. The need for increased communication between the NWS and the local emergency managers is one concern. While the other concern, is the need for increased knowledge and understanding of the NWS products and information by the emergency managers.

This research allows for the opportunity to work and train with local officials to enhance their knowledge base for a better understanding of the NWS products and how they can be utilized. The goal is to identify needed training and fill the gap between minimal use of the products to a more rounded comprehension and understanding of how to utilize the products. Through this study, the hope is to build a unique program of training that will enhance the ability of the NWS to communicate to the emergency managers.

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