Taking WFO Forecasters Onsite-A Winning Situation (124)

Mark Burchfield, NOAA/National Weather Service, Springfield, MO



There is a saying that exercises are the last test of an individual's training. The National Weather Service is in an era of enhancing decision support services for core partners. During times of disasters, incidents, or even just planned events, meteorologists may be called upon by our core partners to provide critical weather information to them in person; either at an Emergency Operations Center or an Incident Command Post.

With this in mind, the National Weather Service Springfield office decided to take forecasters through exercises at local County and City Emergency Operations Centers. Five main objectives were developed, ranging from procedural items to briefings to more logistical items. Staff were taken in groups of 2 or 3 through a basic scenario, based on the local hazards of the area. Exercise evaluators were onsite providing notes via exercise evaluation guides to document challenges and successes. After each exercise, a brief hotwash and after action review were conducted. These exercises has also allowed relationship building between staff and local core partners, as well as learning and experiencing different emergency operations centers.