In support of the Global Flash Flood Guidance Program, HRC has developed a five step blended learning model – known as the Flash Flood Hydrometeorologist Training (FFHT) Program. The FFHT focuses on converting knowledge to understanding as a key element of both long term individual and community behavioral changes. By developing a blended learning approach the FFHT mixes three ingredients: self-paced learning that provides the right skills at the right time, live e-learning in a virtual classroom where learners can collaborate and traditional face-to-face training, which is necessary to teach management, leadership and collaborative skills. This enables the learner to acquire knowledge on three levels: the synaptic, the semantic and the pragmatic level. At this last level the learner is able to apply the knowledge acquired to solve particular problems. The FFHT Program includes five key ‘steps’. Steps two through four have an associated testing and certification process endorsed by HRC (in steps two and three) and World Meteorological Organization (in step four). As each step builds on the previous the five step model is both sustainable and empowers the learners to achieve the knowledge to increase their confidence in forecasting flash floods.
The five step program includes:
- Introductory steering committee meeting and Flash Flood Guidance system background training;
- eLearning program to support system operations, product interpretation, system validation, including the use, management, and interpretation of output from the system, and the development of protocols to alert response agencies and the public of an impending or existing threat. Base courses include: Elements of Meteorology, Elements of Hydrology, GIS basics, Flash Flood Guidance System Products, and Remote Sensing. HRC has also developed FFG system-specific eLearning courses for application of those particular systems.
- Advanced Operations and Interactive Simulator Training at HRC to assist with reviewing and assessing the operating versions of the system. Included is the interactive Simulator training to provide the user with the skill to interpret and validate skill using real flash flood events;
- Regional Operations Training Workshop – where HRC trainers in combination with Trained Regional Trainers provide in-region workshops.
- Regional Operation Sustainability Workshop led by WMO certified trainers acts as refresher training in operations, overview of data requirements, system verification and user validation.