High Impact Decision Support Services Training For NWS Meteorologists

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Thursday, 8 January 2015: 11:00 AM
221A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Richard J. Davis, NOAA/NWS, Ruskin, FL; and C. H. Paxton

The National Weather Service's Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) concept is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. To achieve this goal, it is imperative that the NWS expand its capacity to communicate and provide superior high impact based decision support services in all phases of the disaster life cycle. The emergency management community has recognized the benefits of effectively-communicated and detailed, impact-based meteorological data, forecasts, and briefings during the preparation, response, and recovery related to major weather events such as hurricanes, tornado outbreaks, floods and winter storms. Even during periods of relatively benign weather, emergency managers have requested decision support for large gatherings of people such as sporting events, fairs, and festivals. The NWS Weather Ready Nation Pilot Program offices have training and decision support objectives in their project and executive plans. The primary goals are to (a) develop curriculum and contribute to the NWS Emergency Response Specialist (ERS) training program; (b) develop, evaluate, improve and implement an overall ERS baseline training plan to efficiently provide and improved impact based decision support services; (c) participate in related partner agency weather-dependent simulations, exercises, events and incidents; (d) share developmental training efforts to assist the NWS Training Division and NWS Operations Proving Ground; and (e) test a comprehensive prototype National Incident Management System (NIMS)-compliant certification taskbook through customer/partner outreach visits, lessons learned and initial ERS dispatches. The ERSs within WFOs are working with internal and external partners to achieve those goals and objectives. The NWS is developing a new ERS Professional Development Series (PDS) focusing on identifying professional competencies needed to perform the responsibilities of an Emergency Response Specialist, along with an inventory of instructional components available to build those skill sets. The PDS will be based on an Incident Command System foundation, consist of critical information such as partnership building and designing services to meet customer needs, effective risk communication, and service evaluation. These comprehensive training plans implemented by the NWS will expand and enhance its capacity to provide superior high impact decision support services to partner agencies in the future. This poster presentation will outline the ongoing plan and show the NWS's continuing commitment to produce trained, qualified and certified ERSs to support the NWS's WRN initiative. Experienced and skilled NWS ERSs will enhance the nation's ability to prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against high impact weather events that affect the nation's inter agency systems.