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

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 9:15 AM
Integrated Hazard Information Service: A Warning System That Considers Social Characteristics of the Population At Risk
Room 356 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Charles H. Paxton, NOAA/NWS, Tampa Bay Area - Ruskin, FL; and J. M. Collins, T. L. Hansen, T. J. LeFebvre, L. J. Smith, J. L. Simms, K. Hirvela, and S. K. Kotiyal

One goal of the NWS Integrated Hazard Information Services (IHIS) is to transition the current hazard program from a paradigm of issuing products to one of providing information for decision support. This IHIS project is intended to significantly improve the decision making process of emergency managers and other public officials who manage resources during periods of deadly weather, and also better inform the media and public. The IHIS system has two components; internal and external. Forecasters use the internal graphical component to issue watches, warnings, advisories and statements for hazardous weather by zone, county, or polygon. The IHIS system converts all specified areas into polygons and parses the appropriate information from census block data, displaying the results in tabular and graphical formats for use in the warning decision process. As one example, infrastructure such as hospitals and fire stations are available as overlays. The external component of the IHIS system is a Web site accessible to the emergency managers, the media and the public that shows the polygons with accompanying tables and graphs of census and infrastructure information for the specified areas. Interviews of emergency managers and the media provided positive feedback, illustrating the functionality of the data obtained through the graphical tool on the NWS Web site. This presentation will provide an overview of the interface, the method for census data extraction, user feedback and direction for the future.

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