The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) formally requested that NWS provide preliminary damage paths of major tornadoes within one hour of occurrence beginning 1 April 2015. To meet the need, the web-based tool was modified slightly and used as a stopgap solution, and development team co-leads designed and implemented associated training for Regional Operations Centers to provide the service.
The strengths of both innovations were combined by the development team into one set of software requirements, which then became a formal work assignment for Raytheon programmers. The NWS Office of Central Processing managed Raytheon efforts. The field-based project co-leaders organized: 1) integration with the Damage Assessment Toolkit (a nationally-supported project that is the preferred dissemination tool for emergency management); 2) training development by the Office of the Chief Learning Officer (OCLO) Warning Decision Training Division (WDTD); and 3) FEMA service design by the Office of Analyze, Forecast, and Support (the services group in charge of implementing the FEMA-requested service). This project encompasses the full range of R2O2R scales, from field workers to NWS Headquarters, and across several financial accounts.
A prototype AWIPS II tool was implemented in September 2015, and a fully functional AWIPS II tool will be implemented in January 2016, along with training from the OCLO/WDTD.