Weather-Ready Nation or Ready-Weather Agency? Emphatic Accuracy and Sociotechnical Resilience in the National Weather Service

  • Jen HendersonEmail author


In the United States, the National Weather Service has begun to “evolve” their agency through strategies of sociotechnical resilience. This chapter critiques the agency’s recent strategic plan, Weather-Ready Nation Roadmap, through normative inquiry about the sociotechnical resilience of what, for whom, and at what cost. It identifies internal and external inflections of this resilience meant to maintain the value of the government forecaster in society but that may disappear the public from agency anticipatory activities. The Roadmap likewise opens opportunities for scaling up forecaster values that transform their science through a commitment to keeping their publics safe. This ethic, what I call empathetic accuracy, performs the interconnectedness of accuracy, care, and relationality already present in, and important to, the sociotechnical resilience of forecaster work.


National Weather Service Sociotechnical resilience Weather disasters Ethic Empathetic accuracy 



This work was funded, in part, by a fellowship from the Graduate Student Visitor Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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