Virtual Impact-based Decision Support Services
Andy Foster, National Weather Service, Springfield, MO
Mike Griffin, National Weather Service

The changing needs of core partners and stakeholders, along with the continual evolution of technology, require that we in the National Weather Service (NWS) explore the latest methods of providing the best impact-based decision support services (IDSS) possible. IDSS in the form of virtual collaboration can be leveraged in the context of one-to-one or one-to-many support that requires a suite of adaptable tools, methods, and protocols.

NWS Springfield has explored the use of various technologies to provide virtual IDSS to core partners and NWS staff located onsite at an event or incident. Additionally, these applications are useful in collaborating with larger core partner audiences prior to, and during, hazardous weather events. 

The suite of virtual IDSS tools utilized on an experimental and real-time basis include Google Hangouts, Skype, Join-Me webinars, and NWSchat (i.e., collaboration software). The use of these applications and procedures have yielded innovative practices in providing virtual IDSS, whether connecting with core partners at onsite events or emergency operation centers, conducting “open coordination sessions” during critical weather events, performing event driven and weekly live briefings, and supporting staff at onsite IDSS events.