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11th Annual George Mason University Conference on Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion Modeling. OFCM Special Session: Benefits to Responders of Joint Urban Test Beds. Mark Miller Emergency Response Division. Urban Test Beds: User Perspectives.

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11th annual george mason university conference on atmospheric transport and dispersion modeling

11th Annual George Mason University Conference on Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion Modeling

OFCM Special Session: Benefits to Responders of Joint UrbanTest Beds

Mark Miller

Emergency Response Division

urban test beds user perspectives
Urban Test Beds: User Perspectives

A “built it and they will come” approach probably won’t work for Test Beds. Typical responders just don’t care.

What they do care about is:

  • Getting the answers to the questions they have -
    • Faster
    • More accurate answer
who are the users
Who are the users?
  • Researchers
  • Meteorologists/Forecasters
  • Emergency Managers/Planners
  • Emergency Responders (includes NOAA HAZMAT)

We’ll focus on the last two “new” user groups who have different needs than the traditional user groups.

simple questions complex answers
Simple Questions, Complex Answers
  • Where is the bad stuff going?
  • How soon will it get there (evacuation vs shelter-in-place)?
  • Where can I send someone to monitor?
  • Can I get real-time warnings about hazardous weather?
what can long term utbs provide
What can long term UTBs provide?
  • I need the data when I want it  Available 24/7
  • I need the data in a format I can use  Graphical/GIS
  • I need the data to be accurate  Real-time QA/QC
  • I need to understand the data  Familiar terminology
  • I may need help interpreting the data  Reachback (?)

The system has to be operational.

communicate information effectively
Communicate Information Effectively

Response and Planning Users need to understand:

  • Differences between Archived, Real-time, and Forecast data (that is, Past vs. Now vs. Later).
  • Differences between actual data (point data) and predictions (model data).
      • Is there a correlation or not? (That is, does the model accurately “predict” observed data?)
      • If not, what is uncertainty? Is it communicated to the users in a way that they can incorporate it into their decision making process?
final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • If we want to win support in today’s budgetary environment we need to move beyond traditional uses of urban test beds.
  • Urban test beds should be designed to provide operational information from the start.
    • Make high quality information available to wider decision making audience in a form that can be used.