NOAA 2000-078
Contact: Barry Reichenbaugh


Oak Ridge Boy and weather buff Richard Sterban was presented the "Mark Trail/NOAA Weather Radio" public service award Nov. 15. Sterban was presented with the award by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Sterban was recognized by National Weather Service Deputy Director John Jones for the singer's efforts to educate the public about the value of owning a NOAA Weather Radio receiver. NOAA Weather Radios provide instant warnings of local severe weather and other hazards directly from the National Weather Service. Sterban recently recorded a series of public service announcements available to radio stations nationwide.

"Richard's efforts are helping us move closer toward our ultimate goal of making NOAA Weather Radio receivers as common as smoke detectors in homes, businesses and public gathering places," said Jones.

The NOAA Weather Radio network is the lone government-operated radio system that provides direct warnings to the public for severe weather and natural and technological hazards, from floods to forest fires, to oil spills. Known as the "Voice of the National Weather Service," NOAA Weather Radio is provided as a public service by NOAA, an agency within the Department of Commerce. The NOAA Weather Radio network broadcasts forecasts, watches, warnings, and other hazard information over more than 560 stations covering the 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories.

Many NOAA Weather Radio receivers automatically sound an alarm when a weather warning is broadcast. A NOAA Weather Radio set in a silent stand-by mode will alert listeners at crucial times when their television or radio is not on. The newest NOAA Weather Radio receivers can be programmed to alert only for warnings in specific counties, so listeners won't be bothered by warnings that will not impact their area.

The Mark Trail/NOAA Weather Radio Awards are named for the nationally syndicated cartoon character, which serves as the campaign symbol for the NOAA Weather Radio program. Since 1995, Jack Elrod, writer and illustrator of Mark Trail, and King Features Syndicate have been strong advocates for publicizing severe weather safety and the value of NOAA Weather Radio.

NOAA Weather Radios are available at many retail stores that sell electronic appliances, marine supply stores, truck stops, cable shopping networks, mail-order catalogs and the Internet. The receivers range in cost from $20 to $80, depending on the features and model. Before buying a NOAA Weather Radio receiver, make sure your area is covered by a local station, and buy only with the understanding that if it doesn't meet your needs, the receiver can be returned for a full refund.

To hear Sterban's public service announcements on the Web, visit: For more information about NOAA Weather Radio online, visit the Web site at:

Editor's note: Radio stations interested in obtaining a compact disc copy of Sterban's public service announcements should contact NOAA at (301) 713-1208 or send an e-mail message with the station's mailing address to: Include the words "Oak Ridge Boys PSA" in the subject line of the request.