Service Assessments For Flood Related Disasters

What is a Service Assessment?

After a significant weather related disaster has taken place, the NWS will often form a team to assess the service provided by the NWS office(s) involved in the event. Members of the team visit the office(s) involved, within a matter of days to weeks after the event. NWS customers will also likely be visited (i.e. emergency managers, media, etc.). In general, the team will look at all products, services, interviews, etc. that the office provided during the event. For this reason, it is important to save all materials related to the event! The team will generate a report from all of the compiled information. The report generally summarizes the event (both meteorologically and hydrologically), contains a list of the services that were provided by the NWS office(s), and lists the team's findings from the event and recommendations for future improvement (findings and recommendations are based on materials provided and interviews conducted).

What can the Hydrology Program Manager expect?

The Hydrology Program Manager will certainly be involved in any service assessments when the disaster is flood related. Most likely his/her program will be closely examined. The Hydrology Program Manager should prepare documentation/information (a general outline is located below) AND be prepared to be interviewed about the operations during the event and hydrology program preparations for such events. The following are several areas that could be examined during a service assessment (These are only possible assessment topics, each assessment will be unique and depend on the magnitude of the event):

Who will conduct the survey?

A typical team will consist of national, regional, and local (WFO and RFC) NWS employees. The size of the team will depend on the magnitude of the event. The team composition includes a team leader and 4 to 7 members (again, this number will vary with events). The type of event will dictate the composition of the team (i.e. a SH or RFC Hydrologist will usually take part in a flood related service assessment).