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Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services
Performance and Awareness Division - Branches

Awareness Branch Chief: Michael J. Szkil
The Awareness Branch (OS51) is a major portal for NWS communications. As such, it:

  • Educates and updates partners and the public on how best to use available products and services
  • Provides partners and the public with information on weather and water preparedness through newsletters, brochures, booklets, flyers, and multimedia products
  • Establishes and maintains policy for the NWS awareness, preparedness, external warning coordination, technical user education, dissemination and communication, and customer notification programs
  • Manages and promotes the StormReady® Program
  • Leads the NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist program
  • Notifies customers and partners of upcoming service changes
  • Responds to partner and public questions via an email question line, postal mail, and telephone
  • Develops and updates all OCWWS webpages with subject matter support from other offices
  • Supports and participates in NOAA Outreach Programs
  • Oversees the delivery of service from emerging NWS dissemination systems, information standards, and protocols.

The Awareness Branch:

  • Works with state and local emergency managers to improve hazardous weather and flood planning and communications through the national StormReady® Program
  • Manages the SKYWARN® weather spotter and Post-Storm Data Acquistion programs in support of NWS Weather Forecast Offices
  • Partners with FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) to develop weather and flood hazard training courses for the emergency management community
  • Supports FEMA on the policy and implementation of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) and disaster declarations
  • Serves as the NWS liaison with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association
  • Partners with other Federal agencies and organizations such as the American Red Cross to create consistent awareness and preparedness materials
  • Conducts national weather-related campaigns to heighten public awareness and test media and community warning systems
  • Conducts partner and customer forums with NWS user groups to identify needed service improvements and new service capabilities
  • Leads policy delivery of NWS services through traditional and evolving dissemination systems including the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service, NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, the Emergency Manager's Weather Information Network, NOAA Weather Wire Service, and state and local redistribution communication systems
  • Conducts internal and external outreach to educate people about emerging NWS public alert messaging services, protocols, and capabilities
  • Conducts external outreach that encourages third party re-use and re-distribution of NWS Public Alert information through consumer electronics and other emerging dissemination technologies
  • Coordinates service related topics in conjunction with the Strategic Planning and Policy Office to articulate the roles of the NWS in support of the private weather enterprise community

Performance Branch (PPB) Chief: Douglas Young

The Performance Branch (PB) provides the foundation for all NWS service improvement activities by measuring performance and assessing customer satisfaction with service delivery. The branch provides leadership and establishes policy for forecast verification, service assessment, and customer satisfaction programs.

The verification program measures the accuracy and timeliness of NWS services including warnings and forecasts for the public, aviation, marine, fire weather, and emergency management communities. These data provide baselines for the establishment of performance targets as mandated in the Government Performance and Results Act. The NWS evaluation program uses teams established at each NWS service delivery point to communicate successes, identify deficiencies, and assess improvement opportunities. The branch uses these findings to suggest national changes to Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services (OCWWS) program managers. Following extreme events, the branch deploys teams to evaluate operations and service performance and make recommendations for increasing effectiveness and efficiency where possible. Many recommendations affect NWS partners in the delivery of services including the media, local officials, emergency managers, and private hydro-meteorological services. The branch also works with contract organizations to create customer satisfaction surveys and assists OCWWS program managers in translating results into service improvements.

The PB establishes policy and maintains the database for archiving NWS storm-related data and products used by the public, weather sensitive economic sectors, and academia for both research and legal purposes. Information contained in the NWS natural hazards database is the only official repository for natural hazard statistics and is used by agencies such as FEMA, the EPA , USGS, and organizations such as the Institute for Business and Home Safety to suggest mitigation strategies.

NOAA, National Weather Service
Analyze, Forecast and Support Office
1325 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
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Last Updated: February 26, 2013