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

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 4:00 PM
Weather-Ready Nation – Supporting the Integration of Weather and Public Health
Room 333 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Chris Maier, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD

The vision of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service's (NWS) new strategic plan is “A Weather-Ready Nation: Society is Prepared for and Responds to Weather-Dependent Events.” This initiative fully supports the systematic approach to identifying, assessing and reducing the risks from disasters. New and evolving needs from society call for the NWS to shift from the way we forecast and warn today to an impact-based decision support services approach. This new focus includes a better understanding of societal impacts, the making of NWS information more relevant to decision makers, and NWS directly participating in decision making when life and property are at stake. The NWS strategic plan has an objective to “extend weather, water, and climate forecasts to provide ecological and health-based information and services.” In general the idea is for NWS to help the health sector prepare for and adapt to the weather so they may be more effective in the administration and delivery of medical care. Through expanded partnerships, interpretive services and forecast products, the NWS hopes to reach this goal. It is the collaborations with local, regional, and national health, water, and environmental managers that are key. While those collaborations have already made progress in certain areas – extreme heat, extreme cold, air quality – there is still much that can be done. The weather and climate enterprise will be asked to do even more to make everyday life safer, healthier, and more productive.

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