National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Tri-State Integrated Warning Team Meeting

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Kings Daughters Medical Center Health Education Center
2201 Lexington Avenue
Ashland, KY  41101




What is the Integrated Warning Team?

Believe it or not, you are already part of an informal integrated warning team (IWT). Anyone who works to protect people’s lives during weather events can count themselves as part of the Integrated Warning Team.

An IWT is a group of individuals committed to notifying the public about potentially hazardous weather and providing resources to them once hazardous weather occurs. These individuals come from many professions: federal, state and local emergency managers, broadcast and print media, public service officials (USGS, DOT/DOH, school system officials), private organizations (utility companies, health services) and National Weather Service staff typically compose much of the IWT. However, any other public or private sector individuals responsible for the management of their organization or jurisdiction's public safety, can also be part of an IWT. Social scientists can also play a major role in helping the team to identify successes and shortfalls in the communication of weather information to the general public.

What do we hope to accomplish with this Integrated Warning Team workshop?

Gathering all the parts of the IWT together allows everyone involved to:

  • exchange contact information
  • discuss past high impact weather events and the warning process (what went right/wrong for each organization)
  • foster improved collaboration and communication between each organization so during crisis situations the team already knows each other and what the different organizations main goals and requirements are
  • discover common communication issues
  • voice problems/concerns so other stakeholders can understand the complexities and limitations of your decisions during high impact weather events
  • introduce diversity and productive conflict to help stakeholders become more robust and better suited to serve the public’s needs
  • develop a customer specific impacts catalog (Discuss thresholds for decisions)
  • discuss ways to more fully integrate, capture and distribute data before, during and after events happen

The goal is to produce a more cohesive and mutually beneficial relationship within the IWT that allows for a faster and more collaborative response to high-impact weather events. Public safety is the primary driver, not individual organization's goals.

What makes a good Integrated Warning Team workshop?

  • Diverse group of stakeholders present
  • Everyone needs to participate
  • The workshop is a judgement free zone
  • Questions are encouraged
  • Make introductions to those you don’t know
  • Learn, teach, HAVE FUN


9:00 AM Welcome/What is an IWT?

  • Opening remarks and an interactive presentation explaining what an IWT is and what we would like to accomplish with the workshop.


9:30 AM Round Table Discussion

  • A group of partners will participate in a facilitated discussion on their weather needs, past weather events, lessons learned and challenges they face with the warning process.


10:30 AM Exploring River Forecasts vs Outlooks

  • River flood outlooks are often misused and misunderstood but offer valuable information decision makers can use when trying to plan for a potential flood event. A representative from the Ohio River Forecast Center will discuss the differences between official river forecasts and the model derived outlooks and facilitate a brief exercise with the goal of enabling participants to better understand the products and properly use them in their decision making.


11:30 PM Lunch (provided with registration)


12:30 PM Tabletop Exercise

  • This Homeland Security and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) compliant exercise will simulate the exchange of information that takes place leading up to a severe weather and flash flood event. Incidents will also occur leading up to the event that will test the ability of NWS and our partners to communicate important decision support information and activate emergency response plans.


2:30 PM Hotwash and Wrap-up