92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012
National Weather Service and Nurture Nature Center - A Partnership for Flood Outreach
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Patricia Wnek, NOAA/NWS/Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center, State College, PA; and P. Ahnert, W. Marosi, R. Kruzdlo, G. Szatkowski, R. Hogan Carr, and K. Brandes
Manuscript (209.9 kB)

Poster PDF (1.4 MB)

The National Weather Service's (NWS) Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center, and Weather Forecast Office in Mt Holly, NJ partnered with the Nurture Nature Center (NNC) to develop the replicable flood education program, Floods Happen, Lessen the Loss, after the citizens of the Delaware Basin suffered severe losses from three historical floods over just a two year period . This collaborative effort resulted in a broad variety of materials that have already won four awards and other strong positive feedback from classroom teachers to municipal professionals. The program's message that floods are natural, emphasized actions people could take to lessen their loss, such having a plan, sharing river forecast information and evacuating when requested. The materials included an award winning animated short film, The Day of the Flood and the creation of a character, “High Water Mark”, who, along with his dog “NOAA”, help children learn flood safety through puzzles and other fun activities. The materials this partnership produced have significantly elevated the quality and quantity of the NWS's outreach efforts in the region and helped the NWS reach entirely new audiences.

The partnership has continued into a second project, Science on a Sphere and Flood Forums: Education to Action with the placement of a NOAA Science on Sphere (SOS) at NNC's flood museum, and the creation of the first SOS flood-related program. This program will explain how climatic and oceanic changes are contributing to the increasing frequency and severity of floods throughout the U.S. and world. The program will also be integrated into public forums on sustainable resource management and positive stewardship of the environment.

Supplementary URL: http://focusonfloods.org