S209 Effectiveness of the Pilot Project on Weather Communication in the Southeast US

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Damon E. Matson, California University of Pennsylvania, California, PA; and K. Graham and J. D. Eachus

After major emergency events in Louisiana such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the National Weather Service (NWS) decided to improve decision support and communications to core partners with the Pilot Project. The purpose of this research project is to quantify how effective the Pilot Project actually was, something not accomplished before the project ended in March. To achieve this, data were gathered via an independent survey sent out to the core partners of the NWS; e.g. emergency managers, city officials, levee managers. Each question on the survey was designed to gauge how communications and support services from the NWS have changed and determine the effectiveness of certain aspects of the Pilot Project from all of the core partners' point of view.

Despite the challenges in the past of quantifying effectiveness through a survey format, the results show that certain aspects of the Pilot Project did improve communication, but also there is still room for improvement. After further implementation, further anticipated outcomes are that it will give validation to the positive impact of the Pilot Project and bring about the creation of a similar communication program or a change in best practices to close the communications gap and better integrate the NWS and its core partners on a nationwide level.

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