Effective emergency management means educating first responders and county emergency managers on how to interpret and make use of complicated weather data. NC-FIRST is a program designed to help these front-line staff decipher weather data, understand weather threats and choose actions that minimize the threats to lives and property caused by extreme weather. NC-FIRST is a customizable Web portal environment that aggregates information from NOAA weather web sites, satellites and radars into an easy-to-use format. The site can be localized to meet the needs of local emergency responders. NC-FIRST also offers online training and 3-day classroom training for public safety officials (for more information, see http://nc-first.renci.org).
- Modeled after OK-FIRST, a successful educational program for emergency managers and first responders launched 10 years ago in Oklahoma.
- Enhances the relationship with the National Weather Service by helping emergency managers better understand developing weather data.
- Training course focuses on types of weather information and specific types of disasters: hurricanes/tropical storms, floods, thunderstorms/tornadoes, winter storms, fire, heat and drought, coastal information, and general weather information.
- Uses weather data that is aggregated in the portal to teach emergency managers how to interpret various types of data and imagery.
- Mobile version for handheld devices allows emergency managers that are on the move to view NC-FIRST and get updates anywhere.
State of North Carolina
- Jessica Proud, project leader
- Lisa Stillwell
- North Carolina State Climate Office
- National Weather Service
- Institute for the Environment