(From Ken Graham, NWS Director, 3/13/23)
This new National Weather Service Strategic Plan can be described with one word: You! It’s simple: you — the NWS workforce and our partners in the weather community — are at the core of our mission of saving lives, protecting property, and enhancing the national economy.
Only through your skills, talent, dedication, and determination can we as a team — inclusive of all roles and responsibilities — provide outstanding services to our partners and to the public as part of our ongoing efforts to achieve a more Weather-Ready and Climate-Ready Nation.
Facing increasing dangers and risk associated with weather, water, and climate events, the needs of the public and our partners never sit still — and neither will the NWS. This Strategic Plan is intended to be an actionable document and serve as our path to transform into a more nimble, flexible, and mobile agency that is eye to eye with decision makers. This is an NWS that provides decision support services when, how, and where they are needed.
While this Strategic Plan is more streamlined than in the past, it runs deep on actions that will transform the agency under the three key themes of our People, our Infrastructure, and our Future and deep in activities that will advance the way in which the NWS works with partners.
Time and time again, our partners and stakeholders say that our services are critical in their ability to make sound life-saving and economic-sensitive decisions. The NWS is needed now more than ever, and that need is projected to grow. That is an incredible feeling that comes with tremendous responsibility, and I know we are up to the challenge.
The NWS cannot do this alone either. It is through our partners in emergency management and across the spectrum of the weather and research community that we can ensure every citizen is equitably receiving and responding to the vital forecast information that we provide. Partnerships and communication between the NWS, the emergency management community, the private sector, and amplifying voices in local communities are incredibly important for completing the “critical last mile” — to ensure NWS forecasts and information produce the life-saving actions that are intended.
I am excited for us to take this journey together as one NWS. In doing so, let’s ensure we have each other’s backs and be rest assured that I will always have yours!