National Weather Service Simulations with External Partners: How to Improve High Impact Weather Event Preparedness through Exercises (271)

Stephen Bieda III, NOAA/NWS Weather Forecast Office Amarillo, Amarillo, TX

Christopher Morris, NOAA/NWS Weather Forecast Office Amarillo

Todd Lindley, NOAA/NWS Weather Forecast Office Norman

Jonathan Kurtz, NOAA/NWS Weather Forecast Office Norman

Ted Ryan, NOAA/NWS Weather Forecast Office Fort Worth



&ldquoI cannot stress enough the importance and role the National Weather Service has played in the planning and execution of this statewide exercise. I can't thank them enough.&rdquo - Tracey Binder, Exercise Officer Oklahoma Department Of Emergency Management

&ldquoThree services came together, NWS Amarillo, Texas A&ampM Forest Service and the Amarillo EOC to jointly lead the largest exercise ever in the Texas Panhandle.&rdquo -Chip Orton, Director, Amarillo Area Office of Emergency Management.

&ldquoNWS Amarillo provided the foundation of the wildfire exercise...which allowed us to practice, work and discover preparedness items in a safe environment.&rdquo - Emily Nolte, Regional Planning Coordinator, Panhandle Regional Planning Commission.

The strategic priorities of the National Weather Service are increasingly focused upon providing Impact-Based Decision Support Services (IDSS), a crucial concept to the agency's &ldquoNWS Evolve&rdquo initiative. In the history of the NWS, our working relationship with emergency management and public safety partners has always been crucial, though these relationships are becoming increasingly important due to our shared missions of saving life and property. As this professional relationship has continued to deepen, the NWS is becoming increasingly involved in exercises that allow weather forecast offices and agencies to change their service delivery paradigm and increase preparedness through &ldquotrain as you fight&rdquo high impact simulations. Over the past few years, NWS Weather Forecast Offices across parts of Texas and Oklahoma have led or participated in simulation exercises involving severe thunderstorms, wildland fire outbreaks, winter storms and a multitude of non-weather related incidents. Additionally, as the NWS builds a Weather Ready Nation (WRN) through deployment ready training, these exercises allow offices to understand the diversity of incident management while practicing decisional support services in impactful situations. These simulation exercises have helped integrate and build relationships with federal, state, regional and local partners which will improve participant responses to high impact weather events in the future. Finally, the utilization of the EM derived training philosophy (Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program) during exercise creation allows local training programs to evolve while allowing NWS offices to interact on a deeper level with core partners.