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

NC-FIRST Details

  • 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

Project Team

  • Jessica Proud, project leader
  • Lisa Stillwell


  • North Carolina State Climate Office
  • National Weather Service
  • Institute for the Environment