3.1 Customizing the Impact-Based Decision Support Services Deployment Boot Camp

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 10:30 AM
613 (Washington State Convention Center )
Megan N Taylor, CIMMS, Kansas City, MO; and K. Runk and J. J. Zeltwanger

In building a Weather Ready Nation, the highly successful Impact-Based Decision Support Services (IDSS) Deployment Boot Camp has prepared over 200 National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists and hydrologists for on-site deployment. As the agency evolves under the Weather Ready Nation (WRN) initiative, the demand for deployment-ready training continues to grow. More and more operational employees need the training, but the demands are hard to meet due to budget, weather events, staffing, etc. In an effort to overcome these challenges, the Office of the Chief Learning Officer, in collaboration with NWS Central Region Headquarters and the Operations Proving Ground in Kansas City, developed customized traveling versions of the in-residence IDSS Boot Camp training. Western and Central Region Headquarters developed “road show” training for WFOs in 2013, but May 2015 marked the first large-scale effort to duplicate the full interactive Boot Camp experience outside of the NWS Training Center walls. This traveling IDSS Deployment Boot Camp course was held at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP) in College Park, Maryland. Attendees included employees from the Weather Prediction Center (WPC), Ocean Prediction Center (OPC), and Climate Prediction Center (CPC). Instructors presented customized sessions that illustrated best practices for the operational settings in the NCWCP. Each attendee participated in a half-day simulation where they conducted discussions, conference calls, presentations, and media interviews. Participants received personalized coaching and feedback for each task. Some 23 employees participated in the organization, preparation, and simulation for this experience. The NCWCP customized traveling IDSS Deployment Boot Camp was such a success, other national centers and regional offices have expressed interest. In April 2016, Alaska Region hosted a customized course that addressed standard IDSS best practices, conveying uncertainty and risk to core partners, and accomplishing these goals given the challenging weather, water, and geological hurdles exclusive to the state of Alaska. Attendees discussed operational procedures, and networked with colleagues from other forecast offices, as well as core partners from other agencies, such as the US Coast Guard, NOAA Office of Response and Restoration, FEMA Region 10, and an Alaska Tribal Liaison. The week culminated with a full-day “unified command” simulation that addressed a mock oil-spill and the challenging Alaska-specific factors involved in the cleanup. The demand for deployment-ready training will continue to grow as the NWS works toward building a Weather Ready Nation. In this presentation, we will review the previously held customized traveling IDSS Deployment Boot Camps, and identify the benefits to customized training and large scale functional exercises.
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