861 Weather Impact Matrix for Supporting FEMA at the Regional and National Level

Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Brian R. Hoeth, NOAA/NWS, Fort Worth, TX; and K. M. Van Speybroeck, J. McNatt, M. Wiley, and D. Porter

Since 2012, the Southern Region – Regional Operations Center has continued to strengthen their partnerships with FEMA Regions IV and VI, and have provided routine daily and impact-based weather information that is critical to FEMA's response operations. Meanwhile, NOAA's Liaison to FEMA HQ is also providing similar support for senior leadership at the national level in Washington, D.C. Over the past year, these NWS units have worked with operational decision-makers at FEMA to develop a more formalized and consistent definition to the weather threats and impacts that might require a federal response at both the regional and national levels, and are working to develop a Weather Impact Matrix tailored to the FEMA Regions and HQ. These impact matrixes are designed to be a situational awareness tool that can be used in daily briefings and weather reports with FEMA's critical thresholds and decision triggers in mind. In addition, it will depict the severity and rarity of a weather hazard, and help extend a decision-maker's attention beyond the short-range forecast that may also include potential cascading hazards. At the national level, the impact matrix is managed within WebEOC, a web-based information management system that is used for the collection and dissemination of emergency or event-related information.

This presentation will focus on the collaborative work involved with developing the Weather Impact Matrix at both the regional and national levels, and describe how certain weather events or hazards may require a different regional and national FEMA response, and how that is accounted for in the matrix. The presentation will also describe how the impact matrix is presented to FEMA and include user feedback thus far.

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