87th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 3:45 PM
Towards an Understanding of Hazardous Weather-A WAS*IS Perspective on First Responders
206A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Joshua J. Jans, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN; and C. S. Keen
Poster PDF (813.3 kB)
Recent weather events have highlighted the lack of communication and information between the science community and first responders. It became clear (especially from Katrina) that first responders and decision makers need independent, localized and timely data from which to make life saving decisions. Following from a series of WAS*IS workshops, a survey was conduced in the spring of 2006 about the perceptions, actions, and needs in responding to weather related hazards amongst the Austin Fire Department and the Texas Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue Team. The results suggested a lack of practical working knowledge of weather processes and technology, especially in the interpretation of weather information. It was also apparent that a need exists for decision makers to understand the science of severe weather, and for scientists to be aware of the need to simplify the use of jargon-filled science-language. This paper brings focus upon a pilot weather-training curriculum to compliment the National Incident Management System (NIMS), a system that allows responders from different jurisdictions and disciplines to work together in response to natural disasters and emergencies. The curriculum attempts to bridge the gap between societal response and forecast science.

Supplementary URL: http://www.mnsu.edu/weather/ams2007.pdf