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VAWS: Improving Communication of Coastal Flood Warnings to Alaska Communities

Speaker: Ed Plumb, NOAA National Weather Service

Coastal flooding and erosion from strong storms pose a significant threat to many Alaska communities. The National Weather Service (NWS) is collaborating with state, regional, local, and tribal organizations to improve impact-based decision support to communities before and during coastal storms.

The NWS is also in the process of improving warning messages to rural Alaska in order to effectively communicate threat level, convey risk from storm surge, forecaster confidence, and potential impacts of incoming storms.

The NWS is working to incorporate local terminology and place names, traditional knowledge of storm impacts, and storm observations into coastal flood warnings for communities. In order to accomplish this, the NWS is engaging in various workshops, meetings, and performing community visits to interact directly with residents and gain a better understanding of threats to their community.

This presentation will highlight recent success the NWS has had in improving two-way communication and warnings to western Alaska communities during coastal flood events.