National Weather Service
Quick Response Team (QRT)
NOTE: this is an abbreviated version of the
QRT Operational Procedures. All Local WFO actions are
in bold. Names of team members and their phone numbers
have been excluded in this abbreviated version for security reasons. Please
consult your station duty manual for the complete set of QRT operational
- Event occurs.
- Per individual Region notification guidelines, local WFO
immediately notifies their Regional Headquarters that a significant
event has occurred.
- Regional Headquarters immediately notifies the NWS Watch Office of
the significant event(s) with potentially greater than F3 damage. The
Watch Office will contact the National WCM Program Manager, the Director
of OCWWS, the Performance and Awareness Division Chief, and other senior
NWS officials including the AA for Weather Services, as appropriate.
The AA for Weather Services will, at their discretion, contact the NOAA
Administrator or other senior NOAA officials.
- Regional Headquarters should notify the NWS Watch Office through the
- Sending an e:mail message to "firstname.lastname@example.org"
- Leaving a message on the Watch Office hotline at (XXX) XXX-XXXX
These are the first actions that should be taken and apply to both business
and non-business hours. Regional office personnel should provide their
name, phone number, and a brief message for a return call. Either e:mail
messages or phone calls should activate Watch Office pagers.
Local WFO Post-Storm Data Acquisition (PSDA) Team
immediately deploys to the damage site and determines that greater than
F-3 damage may have occurred. If necessary, the local WFO may request
PSDA "mutual aid" support from an adjacent
office for the purpose of conducting the survey. The local PSDA Team
will reach a consensus to define the potential of greater than F3 damage.
The local PSDA Team shall continue the survey effort independent of
the F3 damage determination to ensure acquisition of valuable survey
Local WFO shall provide the following statement to
emergency management and media: "damage is potentially greater
than F3," as outlined in NWSI Directive 10-1604, until
the QRT Wind Damage Expert(s) provide(s) input to the WFO for the final
The National WCM Program Manager, or their designee, will contact
the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and
Supporting Research (OFCM) to notify them that the NWS is activating
QRT procedures, and advise that NWS Regional or National Headquarters
may be contacting them to request Civil Air Patrol (CAP) support. OCWWS
personnel on the PSDA Working Group includes the National WCM Program
Manager and National WCM Program Assistant.
Local WFO will coordinate with Regional and National
Headquarters to arrange a timely aerial survey of the damage area. Aerial
surveys can be arranged via the CAP or other sources (e.g., National
Guard, TV/Sheriff Office Helicopters, etc.)
If it is determined that a QRT is needed, Regional Headquarters personnel
will call one
of the Wind Damage Experts listed in Appendix A, to see if they are
available to perform a post-storm wind damage survey. Regional Headquarters
will provide the Wind Damage Expert with logistical information about
the local WFO (i.e., MIC and WCM contacts, office address, phone number,
etc). If the first expert called is not available, another person listed
in Appendix A should be called. For widespread and/or multiple events,
additional Wind Damage Expert(s) may be required.
NOTE: Other NWS personnel not listed in Appendix A can be considered
as Wind Damage Experts and serve on a QRT, if they demonstrate extensive
PSDA experience and are recommended as a National Authority by their
Wind Damage Experts will have pre-draft blanket Travel Orders from
NWS Headquarters (W/OS5) to expedite their travel. During normal business
hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern time) the Wind Damage Experts
should call SATO Travel in Silver Spring, MD to obtain their plane tickets
at: (XXX) XXX-XXXX. During non-business hours SATO
Travel 24 Hour Emergency Services Desk should be called at: (XXX)
XXX-XXXX. Note: SATO's Silver Spring Office pseudo city
code is 01S0 (this code is used to reserve airline tickets via the 24
hour emergency number).
QRT Wind Damage Expert must travel to the local WFO within
18-24 hours of the event.
Local WFO will arrange for the transportation, lodging,
etc of the Wind Damage Expert. If necessary, the local WFO may request
logistical support from adjacent offices or the appropriate Regional
The Wind Damage Expert(s) will accompany the local WFO PSDA
Team to the damage site and provide their expertise for the determination
of the F-Scale rating. The local WFO PSDA Team will provide the official
F-Scale rating to the public.
Wind Damage Expert returns home and submits travel expense receipts
to NWS Headquarters (W/OS5) for reimbursement.