Operational Integration with FEMA's National-Incident Management Assistance Teams (43)

Michael Paddock, Ph.D., NOAA/NWS Western Region Headquarters, McClellan Park, CA

Ashley Sears, NOAA/NWS Headquarters

Gordon Strassberg, NOAA/NWS Headquarters



In an effort to expand the agency's Impact-Based Decision Support Services (IDSS) initiative, the National Weather Service (NWS) embedded a dedicated liaison on each of the three FEMA National-Incident Management Assistance Teams (N-IMATs) in the summer/fall of 2016. The N-IMATs are "on-call" teams that are deployed on short notice to help establish command of large scale disasters that exceed a state or region's response capabilities. When deployed, their initial goal is to be on-site and fully functional within 12 hours of an incident while establishing a Unified Command of the incident response.

As a member of these teams, the NWS Liaisons (LNOs) have had the opportunity to provide support to their respective teams for Hurricane Matthew (October &lsquo16), the Louisiana floods (August &lsquo16), Georgia tornadoes (January &lsquo17), California floods (February &lsquo17), Hurricane Harvey (August &lsquo17), Hurricane Irma (August &lsquo17), and Hurricane Maria (September &lsquo17). This presentation will discuss the responsibilities of the LNOs within a diverse partnership as well as the challenges and successes encountered during deployment. This includes how the LNOs fit into the larger deployment picture by integrating and sharing responsibilities with various other meteorologists (e.g., NWS Operations Center, NWS Regional Operations Centers, and State Meteorologists) and the federal response as a whole in an effort to maintain consistent messaging and achieve a fully integrated field structure.