AMS Forum: Environmental Risk and Impacts on Society: Successes and Challenges


Decision-Making during Hazards and Disasters: An Introductory Survey of Linkages between the Meteorological and Local Public Safety/Emergency Response Communities


Dale A. Morris, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

The vast majority of all federally-funded emergency disaster declarations are weather-related. During the period from 2000 through 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency supported 242 major disaster declarations in 48 states (including the District of Columbia). Of these disasters, 235 (97%) were weather-related. Obviously, effective communication must exist between the meteorological community and local emergency responders to mitigate the impact of these weather events upon people's lives. The need for this communication has been relatively well documented and/or recognized (e.g., specific strategies listed in NOAA's NWS Strategic Plan include advancing decision support services, educating customers, building a coordinated education and outreach program, and engaging customers). The need for communication, education/training, and outreach is underscored by the ever-increasing quantity and quality of weather information produced by NOAA and other public- and private-sector entities.

This study will undertake documentation of recent outreach, education, and training initiatives between the meteorological community and local public safety or emergency response agencies. This methodology will involve the comparison and contrast of the characteristics of programs that can facilitate and/or improve decision-making capabilities of local communities prior to, during, and after significant weather events. The goal is to determine a baseline of linkages that may exist between these communities in order to measure potential improvement. The ultimate outcome is to challenge the meteorological community to better engage local emergency managers and responders to mitigate negative societal impacts from natural weather hazards in the United States.

Session 1, Hazards and disasters: Socioeconomic Impacts & the Decision making process: Part 1
Monday, 30 January 2006, 4:00 PM-5:15 PM, A311

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