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First Ever Atlanta Integrated Warning Team Workshop 

The first ever Atlanta Integrated Warning Team (IWT) Workshop was held on June 1st and 2nd at the Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center. This workshop brought together 65 representatives from the National Weather Service (NWS), federal, state, and local emergency management agencies, the media, the private sector and academia to review the warning process and find areas for improvement. The vision of the team is to reduce weather related fatalities and injuries.

During the first morning of the workshop, participants learned about the different responsibilities of the main members of the team – the NWS, emergency managers, the media and the private sector. Each group was encouraged to describe not only their responsibilities, but their challenges, constraints, concerns and opportunities for working with the other groups. This was also an opportunity for groups to dispel any misconceptions about their responsibilities. During the afternoon, social scientists discussed the importance of incorporating social science into meteorology. These two fields will work together in the warning process to educate the public and understand how best to communicate severe weather information. Later in the first day, participants were divided into smaller groups and assigned one of the following tasks: map the current warning process, map the ideal warning process or describe the inter-relationships between the NWS, emergency mangers, media, the private sector and the public.

During the second day, each small group presented their results to the entire team. After the presentation, participants were able to suggest areas for improvement in the warning process and from there the team developed a list of action items to pursue. The action items were prioritized and subset teams will be created to address the top action items.

This workshop is only the beginning! These subset teams of the Integrated Warning Team will work to address the action items and the entire IWT will meet via conference call every few months to follow-up on their progress. After a year, another workshop will be held to re-evaluate the action items and plan how to proceed based on results from the first year. This workshop and subsequent working teams are just some of the ways we are working towards improving the warning system in an effort to keep you and your family safe.

[ Lans Rothfusz presents the NWS Component of the IWT. ]
Lans Rothfusz, Meteorologist-in-Charge, presents "Component of the IWT: National Weather Service".
[ Robby Westbrook presents the results from "Mapping the Ideal Warning Process". ]
Robby Westbrook, Cherokee County Emergency Manager, and Todd Hamill, Southeast River Forecast Center, present the results from the "Mapping the Ideal Warning Process" team.
[ Group listens during the Atlanta IWT Workshop. ]
Participants listen during the Atlanta IWT Workshop.


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