NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events.
Record-breaking snowfall, cold temperatures, extended drought, high heat, severe flooding, violent tornadoes, and massive hurricanes have all combined to reach the greatest number of multi-billion dollar weather disasters in the nation’s history.
The devastating impacts of extreme events can be reduced through improved readiness, which is why the Weather-Ready Nation initiative is so important. Through operational initiatives, NOAA’s National Weather Service is transforming its operations to help America respond. In the end, emergency managers, first responders, government officials, businesses and the public will be empowered to make fast, smart decisions to save lives and livelihoods.
The initiative includes improvements in a wide range of areas to support management of the nation’s water supply, understanding of climate-related risks, economic productivity, healthy communities and ecosystems.
Building on past successes in decision support services, the National Weather Service launched six community-based pilot projects (PDF) across the country, ranging in focus from emergency response to integrated environmental services, to enhance the nation’s preparedness. NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service are moving new science and technology into weather service operations that will improve forecasts, increase lead time and ultimately increase weather-readiness.
Building a Weather-Ready Nation starts with these internal actions, but requires the action of a vast nationwide network of partners including other government agencies and emergency managers, researchers, the media, insurance industry, non-profits, the private sector, the Weather Enterprise and more.
Through a series of symposiums, the national dialog engages these partners in assessing why the nation is experiencing such extreme impacts.
The goal of the dialog is to support the mission of the National Weather Service by reducing risk and increasing community resilience for future extreme events.
All of these actions fall under the umbrella of Weather-Ready Nation. And all support the same end goal: better information for better decisions.