The National Weather Service (NWS) , one of the line offices of the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) , has broad Federal responsibility to provide public forecasts and warnings of weather and river conditions for the protection of life and property and in support of the Nation's commerce. NOAA conducts a survey of major natural disasters to thoroughly assess the performance of its warning system in all aspects, from data collection and assimilation through creation and dissemination of products and, ultimately, effective user response. This report of the disaster survey team's findings regarding the disastrous floods of the southeastern United States in 1994 identifies opportunities to improve the NWS's weather and flood warning system, not only in the affected region but throughout the Nation.
The survey team was sent to the region affected by major flooding in July 1994. The team visited NWS offices that provide flood warning service to the affected region. They interviewed numerous officials and representatives of the print and broadcast media.
I would like to express the special gratitude of the NWS to the numerous Federal, state, and local officials and media representatives in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida who helped the survey team. Having provided admirable service to the public through this disastrous flood event, you also aided the survey team in evaluating the NWS's warning services.
Elbert W. Friday, Jr.