Enhancing Decision Support Services through Local Emergency Planning Committees (123)
Mark Burchfield, NOAA/National Weather Service, Springfield, MO
Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) have been around for quite a while. They are typically comprised of local fire departments, industrial companies, medical professionals, and local emergency management. Each county has a LEPC that meets on a certain schedule and discusses everything from hazardous materials in the area to just general awareness and training.
The spectrum of partners in the LEPC lends itself well to the services that the NWS can provide. The National Weather Service in Springfield, Missouri has reached out to each county in our county warning area and has obtained schedules and set out to meet with these LEPC's. If possible, the NWS would make brief presentations about services that could be provided, such as HYSPLIT runs and spot forecasts for fires. Typically, a great deal is learned about the challenges they face and it has helped us to continue to come up with ways to provide them with the information that they need. The NWS has attended LEPC hazmat exercises where local weather conditions and forecasts were provided. Becoming more involved with these local LEPC's is critical to continuing the important mission of the National Weather Service.