Washington DC – Late last week, in a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun, M.D. (R-GA) requested details regarding the recently terminated National Weather Service (NWS) Assessment for Hurricane Sandy. The NWS, which is a component of NOAA, uses these assessments to evaluate its performance after significant weather events. According to the NWS, assessment teams, which are comprised of experts both from within and outside the NWS, “evaluate activities before, during, and after events to determine the usefulness of NWS products and services.”
Mere days after its creation, the NWS terminated the Hurricane Sandy review team that was formed to assess the Weather Service’s performance. No rationale was provided for terminating the team, other than a passing reference to the possibility of a broader, multi-agency government review in the future.
“I am deeply concerned by the termination of the NWS Sandy Service Assessment Team,” Chairman Broun said. “Not only does the Subcommittee want to know why the team was disbanded and when a new assessment will be initiated, we want to be assured that the future assessment will be truly independent and have access to all necessary information and staff.”
“The longer we wait, the harder it will be to piece together the events that occurred before, during, and in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy’s appearance on the Eastern shores,” Chairman Broun continued. “All Americans will benefit from an independent assessment of the lessons learned, but those directly impacted deserve to know that the government did the best job it could to keep them informed as Hurricane Sandy edged closer. The best way to provide that assurance is by conducting a thorough, honest, and independent service assessment of the government’s performance, which would be in keeping with the past practice.”
The full letter can be found HERE.