Tuesday, 24 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Special Events Assessment Rating (SEAR) Level 1 events offer a valuable opportunity for NOAA’s National Weather Service to make progress incorporating weather decision support into core partner operations within an Emergency Operations Center type environment. The 2015 and 2016 events surrounding the National Football League’s Super Bowl games were both located in the NOAA/NWS Western Region, in Glendale, AZ and Santa Clara, CA, respectively. SEAR Level 1 events often create impacts, including major increases in aviation traffic, that spread across multiple forecast office areas of responsibility making the event support a truly regional effort. In addition, these events are often led by Federal level partners with significant support from Regional level partners. At the local level, partners familiar to the local forecast office are stretched thin on resources as they prepare to host a very large EOC activation. The combination of partners involved creates a situation where it can be beneficial to have the Regional Operations Center, local WFOs, Center Weather Service Units (CWSU), and River Forecast Centers (RFC) working together to ensure a common operating picture is consistently and effectively messaged to all involved. When the SEAR Level 1 event involves a private organization, such as the National Football League (NFL), the events also offer an opportunity to demonstrate effective weather enterprise communication between the NWS and private meteorological contractors. NOAA/NWS has a long tradition of successfully demonstrating the value of providing decision support services on-site at FAA Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC), at wildfire and hazardous material spill emergencies in Incident Command Posts (ICP), and at significant planned events in an EOC environment. The use of social media and other technological advancements have enhanced the NWS’ ability to provide remote support to Emergency Management in support of public safety at events like these SEAR Level 1 events. The balance or combination of remote support and on-site support can be a challenging problem to solve. NOAA/NWS and the WR ROC combined efforts to make a concerted effort to visit with core partners in person to express our willingness to use our available resources to provide on-site decision support services (DSS) where the presence of a weather expert, or expanded hours of NWS operations would most effectively enhance the partner’s ability to accomplish their mission objectives.
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