Promoting a Culture of Learning in the NWS Through Exercises and Partnerships
John Brost, NWS Southern Region Headquarters, Fort Worth, TX
Eric Howieson, NWS Southern Region Headquarters
Chris McKinney, NWS Southern Region Headquarters
Tim Oram, NWS Southern Region Headquarters

What can the National Weather Service (NWS) learn from NASA, FEMA, the United States armed forces, and local Emergency Management agencies who employ a “train as you fight” philosophy in their standard operating practice?  The NWS Southern Region Headquarters (SRH) is attempting to answer this question with a pilot project built on our deep relationship with FEMA and the State of Texas Department of Public Safety.  This pilot project is intended to teach exercise design and evaluation concepts to NWS training officers using course materials and instructors from FEMA and the State of Texas.

FEMA has developed a comprehensive training program that teaches the fundamentals of building effective seminars, tabletops, drills and full scale exercises.  This training program is called the “Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program” (HSEEP).  SRH arranged for an HSEEP course facilitator to teach the program to a select group of Science and Operations Officers (SOOs) and Development and Operations Hydrologists (DOHs).  These course participants, as training leaders for their local office, were then expected to  incorporate the lessons learned from HSEEP into their local training program.

The first NWS-focused HSEEP course was held in Fort Worth, TX in March 2017.  This presentation will discuss the reasons, including cost savings, behind utilizing the HSEEP framework, the pilot HSEEP course conducted in Fort Worth and local office efforts to implement course concepts into local training programs.