J16.3 The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center: Training for a Weather-Ready Nation

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 1:45 PM
Room 353 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Owen H. Shieh, National Disaster Preparedness Training Center, Honolulu, HI; and T. Bedard

The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) is the member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium that is tasked to develop and deliver Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) certified training courses for the United States and its flag and trust territories to help the nation prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against natural hazards. NDPTC training courses are mobile and instructor led, reaching over 18,000 state and local emergency managers, responders, and citizens in the “whole community” across the nation since 2010. As a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, the NDPTC contributes to the education and outreach mission of the National Weather Service (NWS), providing discussion and activity-based training opportunities at no charge to participants, which complements the existing outreach efforts of local Weather Forecast Offices. This talk provides an overview of NDPTC and its training philosophy for the purpose of exploring ideas for productive partnerships. Feedback is invited on how to better integrate nationally standardized training into local training paradigms and into the Weather-Ready Nation initiative.

The NDPTC Weather & Climate Program has developed a series of nationally standardized, FEMA-certified training courses following the process established by the FEMA National Training and Education Division. Subject matter experts contribute to the development of course content, including presentation slides, instructor guides, participant guides, and handouts. After passing the demo and target audience pilot phases, the course undergoes a rigorous third-party FEMA review. Feedback form the relevant entities within the NWS are also solicited. After the final course is edited and submitted, FEMA issues a course number for the training, which can be requested and delivered in any U.S. state and territory with approval from the State Administrative Agency/Training Point of Contact. The courses are either 4 hours or 8 hours long. Some are broad in scope, whereas others are specific to a certain weather hazard, all led by two instructors (one meteorologist and one emergency manager or responder), or by one instructor with experience in both science and operations/training.

Aside from education and outreach, the NDPTC Weather & Climate Program has also been at the forefront of establishing innovative academic/public/private partnerships. The program draws on both the academic and private sectors to fill instructor positions, in addition to collaborative efforts with the NWS. Furthermore, NDPTC's new facility within the NOAA Inouye Regional Center in Pearl Harbor has allowed partnerships between NOAA/NWS and the Department of Defense. In 2015, the NDPTC founded the Joint Science Internship for Pacific Resilience and Security, which brings earth science and engineering upperclassmen from the U.S. military service academies to NDPTC for an intensive 3-week program that motivates the new generation of scientist-leaders to think critically and apply their education to the most pressing civil-military issues in the fields of natural hazards science and management. Through efforts in both training and partnership building, the NDPTC bridges the gap between science and decision-making and contributes toward a Weather-Ready Nation.

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