87th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 4:00 PM
Emergency Management Tool to Monitor Coastal Storms and Associated Hazards
217A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
William K. Brooks, I. M. Systems Group, Inc./NOAA Coastal Services Center, Charleston, SC; and D. Marcy
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coastal Services Center is working with the California Office of Emergency Services Southern Region and local offices of emergency services to develop an on-line mapping tool for emergency managers to monitor coastal storms and their associated hazards. The tool will bring real-time and forecast weather information and hazards planning data into the same location—helping emergency managers monitor coastal storms and visualize potential impacts. For example, users could monitor the amount of precipitation in an area and view the flood zones simultaneously. Having this information in one location will help users better and more efficiently understand the impacts of each coastal storm.

The idea for this tool is based on an on-line survey and two needs assessment workshops held in Los Angeles and San Diego in January 2006. During the workshops, federal, state, and local officials discussed the tool concept and provided valuable feedback to help guide development.

The tool will be built on a geographic information system (GIS) Internet map server—to ensure data and analyses sharing capabilities with other decision makers. The forecast weather information will be provided by the NOAA National Weather Service National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD). The NDFD provides forecast information for any location through a series of forecast grids detailing sensible weather elements (e.g., wind speed, temperature, etc.). A unique component of the project is the sharing of NDFD data layers through existing external Internet map services. These services are available from NOAA and expand the use of NOAA data for decision making.

In addition, the project team will undertake various outreach efforts such as documenting the methodology and resources used to create the tool so other areas can implement the functionality using their own data.

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