899 The Central Pennsylvania Integrated Weather Impacts Team: Leveraging Improved Preparedness and Response Today to Mitigate Tomorrow's Disasters

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Sepideh Yalda, Millersville Univ., Millersville, PA; and M. Steinbugl, J. R. Scala, J. jumper, S. A. Jasko, P. jung, B. watson, C. evanego, R. H. Carr, M. A. Casteel, and W. gartner

The Central Pennsylvania Integrated Weather Impacts Team (IWIT) is comprised of key partners within the State College county warning area (CWA) of the National Weather Service (NWS) dedicated to improving public preparedness and response to hazardous weather. IWIT functions as a multi-sector/crossdisciplinary collaboration between the NWS and its partners and aims to sustain a transactional communication synergy among all stakeholders. Of particular interest is the improvement of forecast and warning information for impact-based decision making across all sectors of the weather enterprise. The IWIT seeks to enhance understanding of external users’ needs while providing a conduit for feedback to NWS products and services. The ultimate goal is to enable individuals and communities to better utilize forecast and warning information in order to become ready, responsive and resilient to extreme weather. To date, the IWIT has held two successful workshops focused on assessing current NWS products and evaluating the dissemination and communication procedures of impact-based weather risk and safety information. The IWIT is gaining an improved awareness of the responsibilities, and challenges faced by each sector of the weather enterprise in Central Pennsylvania by actively engaging new and existing partners. The IWIT workshops were attended by representatives from emergency management, public safety, media and communications, education, transportation, energy, health/medical, social scientists and others. Going forward, the team will continue to emphasize risk communication and look for areas where impact-based decision support services can promote a more effective response to high impact weather events. This presentation will provide an overview of the development of the central PA IWIT, its accomplishments to date, critical functions, outreach efforts, and key partnerships designed to achieve a suite of essential outcomes.
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