Day_158: Disaster Warning (2)

I will update a column of the NIED e-mail magazine which I wrote a long time ago because the content is not faded with time. (I will do this step by step in Japanese and English) I will also add comments to update the situation.

Sorry, now I am revising this post because of the difficulties of the translation. This post will be revised again. Thank you.

Published June 4, 2010
NIED-DIL e-mail magazine: Disaster Warning (2)

■ Disaster Warning (2) ■

Following the tornado that hit Saroma in Hokkaido in November 2006, I was given the opportunity to visit Oklahoma in the United States in February 2007 for a survey on tornado disaster response, especially tornado disaster alerts. In particular, I visited mainly the NWC (National Weather Center) built inside the University of Oklahoma. At there, Professor Emeritus Yoshikazu Sasaki helped us. He is very famous for being a model of the Hollywood movie “Twister.” I learned that U of Oklahoma, especially a climatological course rapidly became competitive in the U.S. after the movie was released. In the movie “Twister,” there was a scene where cows were flying in the air, at NWC, there was a coffee shop called Flying Cow.

The most impressive thing about the visit was the recognition that the NWC needed a wide range of cooperation on tornado response and put emphasis on community awareness. Regarding multi-disciplinary collaboration, the reason behind this is that even if we increase the accuracy and speed from tornado prediction to warning by science and technology, it will be human beings that will respond to it. Also, there is an organization called the Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB) <Warning Judgment Training Center> inside the university. The existence is based on the fact that the decision of warning (Warning Decision) is not only radar data, but also specialized in model guidance and mesoscale analysis in combination with the human mind. People, the Emergency Manager, make decisions based on a variety of factors, including technical knowledge and reports from spotters (registered volunteers who inform the situation on the spot). The local factors and political conditions are also overlapped. The knowledge of meteorology expertise alone could not attain the purpose.

As for local enlightenment activities, as a contribution to the community, create and publicize many brochures, open a center, for example, tie-up with McDonald’s in a program called McLeady and give educational advertisements was doing. In this way, the NWC recognizes that disaster alerts are based on various factors such as understanding of human behavior, bonding with society, and political situations, and it is common sense that meteorology alone cannot respond. It was impressive that it was done.

Issued June 4, 2010-Issue 5

Day_50 : NWC and Univ. of Oklahoma