NWS Seeks Comments on EM Decision Support Document

Date Posted: August 05, 2014
President Barack Obama talks with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipients in the East Room of the White House, April 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Weather-Ready Nation Roadmap 2.0 is focused on building a Weather-Ready Nation (WRN), which means building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. The National Weather Service (NWS) is enhancing its decision support services, improving technology to track and forecast storms, and expanding its dissemination efforts to achieve far-reaching national preparedness.

NWS defines Impact-based Decision Support Services (IDSS) as “the provision of relevant information and interpretative services to enable core partners’ decisions when weather, water or climate has a direct impact on the protection of lives and livelihoods"

Core partner is defined as government and non-government entities directly involved in the preparation, dissemination and discussions involving hazardous weather or other emergency information put out by the NWS. The term includes emergency managers (EMs), government partners and the media.

To implement the WRN Roadmap, NWS has launched WRN Pilot Projects with focused IDSS activities at several forecast offices. In addition, through ongoing prototype activities, many other NWS offices are exploring new ways to provide decision support services.

NWS policy requires the agency to seek public comment and review before implementing new or substantially modified products or services. To address NWS enhancements to IDSS, we will be providing a series of Service Description Documents (SDDs) describing who we plan to provide IDSS to and what types of decisions we plan to support.

NWS has recently developed a SDD describing its proposed IDSS support for EMs and other government core partners for events and incidents impacting the safety of life and property. This SDD is a revision of an earlier version of the document NWS made available for comment from May 24 to September 23, 2013. The document was revised based on comments received and on stakeholder interactions early in 2014. The revised SDD is online now. NWS is accepting comments on this document through August 31, 2014 at:


NWS interested in receiving comments from our stakeholders. Please let us know if the revised SDD accurately describes the level of service NWS should be providing to EMs and other government core partners.