2002 Annual

Thursday, 17 January 2002: 9:00 AM
OK-FIRST: A 6-Year Retrospective
Dale A. Morris, Oklahoma Climatolgical Survey, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and K. A. Kloesel and K. C. Crawford
Poster PDF (78.2 kB)
The Oklahoma Climatological Survey began an outreach initiative in 1996 known as OK-FIRST. This initiative began as a 30-month demonstration project to "modernize" Oklahoma's public safety agencies by helping them harness the information age. Specifically, OK-FIRST developed a web-based decision-support system based upon current weather information including data from 15 NEXRAD radar units, products from the National Weather Service, and information from the Oklahoma Mesonet. The decision-support system was designed and refined based upon the feedback from the user community, which is comprised of emergency management agencies, fire departments, and law enforcement.

From the beginning, OCS staff recognized that simply building the decision-support system would not ensure the proper application of the available information. The OCS philosophy has been that mere access to timely and relevant information is not the total solution. Therefore, OK-FIRST has included training and follow-up support components to facilitate the use of this environmental information into local operations. Because Oklahoma is a microcosm of the nation of how local agencies respond to emergencies, this manuscript will focus on the management and logistical concerns associated with OK-FIRST. The manuscript will also cover how the OK-FIRST public-safety outreach initiative successfully transitioned from a demonstration project to a permanent program.

Supplementary URL: http://okfirst.ocs.ou.edu