US: Esri has announced its participation in the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador initiative. Recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the initiative was launched to protect US citizens and fortify infrastructure against the threat of extreme weather. The initiative collaborates with organizations that help strengthen preparedness for extreme weather.
“Our goal is to work with WRN Ambassadors in a whole community approach to make individuals and businesses ready, responsive, and resilient against extreme events,” says Douglas Hilderbrand, WRN Ambassador lead at the National Weather Service (NWS).
In recent years, the societal impacts resulting even from well forecast extreme events have shifted attention to improving decision support services for communities and businesses. Increasingly, GIS has distinguished itself as a technology that helps mitigate the impact of inclement weather. Since 2012, Esri has played an essential role in providing data and map services to NOAA’s nowCOAST weather data portal.
“Esri contributes in significant ways as NOAA migrates toward more use of GIS and visual mapping displays,” says Kari Sheets, NWS Integrated Dissemination Program GIS lead. “GIS plays an essential part in integrating disparate datasets together in a geographic display that helps decision makers make the most appropriate decisions.”
Today, Esri enables organizations to create story maps and web apps for safety campaigns. One example is Turn Around Don’t Drown, a New Mexico program designed to discourage drivers from driving through flooded roads during freak storms. Texas recently published a web map for the public that shows flood data to raise awareness of danger zones and increase preparedness for high precipitation events.