NINETEEN GET NATIONAL AWARDS
FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO LIFE-SAVING NOAA WEATHER RADIO
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
today presented the 2003 NOAA Weather and All Hazards Radio Mark Trail
Awards to individuals and groups that made contributions to expand and
improve the life-saving NOAA Weather Radio system coverage, awareness
and radio receiver ownership across the nation. The awards, were given
today at a luncheon held on Capitol Hill. NOAA is part of the Department
Radio is a lifesaver when severe weather and other hazards threaten,”
said Vice Adm. Conrad
C. Lautenbacher, Jr. USN (ret.), NOAA’s administrator. “When
a tornado, or other disaster, threatens in the middle of the night,
only NOAA Weather Radio with its alarm feature can alert you. Every
house needs a NOAA Weather Radio, and together with this year’s
Mark Trail Award winners we are making that possible one person at a
NOAA Weather Radio
continuously broadcasts weather forecasts and warnings, as well as other
hazard warnings. It is credited with saving lives during severe weather
conditions. The award is named after syndicated comic strip character,
Mark Trail, the official spokesman for NOAA Weather Radio.
Retired Air Force
Brig. Gen. Jack Kelly, director of the National Weather Service said,
“Our Mark Trail Award winners are making a difference in communities
across the nation. Thanks to their efforts NOAA Weather Radio transmitters
are popping up at a breathtaking pace, with over 800 transmitters nationwide
we can now provide broadcasts to 95 percent of the American population.”
Now in its seventh
year, the Mark Trail Awards are presented to individuals, local governments,
organizations and corporations, recognizing either their support to
expand NOAA Weather Radio coverage, receiver ownership or quick reactions
that saved lives during severe weather episodes, or civil emergencies.
Mark Trail, a syndicated
comic strip published through King Features in approximately 175 newspapers
nationwide, has been the official spokesman for NOAA Weather Radio since
1997. Jack Elrod, writer and illustrator for Mark Trail, became involved
with NOAA Weather Radio in 1995, featuring it in a Sunday comic strip.
Kelly noted the
National Weather Service (NWS) also broadcasts other emergency messages
over NOAA Weather Radio. “Time is just as critical during a technological
disaster as it is in weather emergencies. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts
civil emergency messages from emergency management officials across
the country and is a critical link during a disaster. We hope to spread
the word that these radios can save your life in a variety of emergencies.”
The 2003 Mark Trail
Award winners are:
- Kansas City Metropolitan
Emergency Manager’s Committee (MEMC) and Price Chopper grocery
stores. Through a unique partnership the team expanded the number
of NOAA Weather Radio listeners in the Metro Kansas City area by placing
100,000 new receivers in homes and businesses in a three year period.
- Calcasieu Parish
Office of Emergency Preparedness working with the Lake Charles Weather
Forecast Office in Louisiana developed and coordinated a means of
quickly disseminating critical emergency information to the public
and media in the case of a hazardous release of toxic gases or other
life threatening events.
- Dow Corning purchased
140 NOAA Weather Radio receivers for schools, day care centers, nursing
homes, hospitals, churches, fire departments, and government buildings
in Carroll County, Kentucky and Switzerland County, Indiana. Dow Corning
worked closely with the County and State Emergency Managers in both
Kentucky and Indiana to make the program a success.
- Marshall County
Emergency Management and Iowa Area 6 Regional Planning Commission
working with the State of Iowa Emergency Management and Federal Emergency
Management Agency placed NOAA Weather Radios in all 16,000 households
and critical facilities within Marshall County.
- Iowa Area 15
Regional Planning Commission working with the State of Iowa Emergency
Management Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency made
NOAA Weather Radio receivers available to the 24,000 residents of
Appanoose, Davis, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Van Buren,
Wapello and Wayne Counties for $11 per receiver.
- Steve Sanders
of Crosett, Ark., led the effort to install a NOAA Weather Radio transmitter
to his area. Over a period of three years, Sanders brought together
the U.S. Geological Survey, city and county government, local industries
and civic organizations to fund the transmitter at Fountain Hill,
which was dedicated in August 2002.
- Ray Resendez
is responsible for placing NOAA Weather Radio receivers in almost
every school and day care center in El Paso County, Texas. Resendez
is also working to see that a NOAA Weather Radio is installed and
working in every area business and has secured grants and funding
from a number of sources. At the present time, he is helping the NWS
to prepare broadcasts over a Spanish-language transmitter.
- Gilbert Sebenste,
Staff Meteorologist, Northern Illinois University, has worked to program
and install over 150 NOAA Weather Radios in all the buildings at the
NIU main and satellite campuses. Sebenste is working with the NWS
to install a new transmitter in DeKalb and helped secured a climate
controlled space, tower space, power and emergency back-up power at
no cost to NOAA.
- The U.S. Coast
Guard in Alaska has partnered with the NWS in creating and operating
16 low power “high” sites with four more being added in
FY 2003. The USCG partnership is exclusive to Alaska and increases
NOAA Weather Radio coverage by 300 percent in that region. USCG purchased,
installed and maintains all sites.
- Pioneer Hi-Bred
International, Inc., based in Johnston, Iowa, has worked closely with
the NWS in rural America. Pioneer is using their Web site to sell
NOAA Weather Radios at cost and their Growing Point magazine with
a circulation of 180,000 provides valuable information on NOAA Weather
Radio’s All-Hazards benefits.
- Thomson, manufacturer
of RCA televisions, is recognized for incorporating NOAA All Hazards
receivers in seven new flat screen TV models being introduced to the
marketplace in July 2003. Thomson sells about 20 percent of the TVs
purchased in the United States.
- Smithsonian Institute
is recognized for making NOAA Weather Radio a feature in their Catastrophic
Events course. This middle school course teaches the importance of
NOAA Weather Radio and reaches over 70,000 students each school year.
- The State of
Maryland is recognized for placing NOAA All Hazards radio receivers
in all Maryland schools.
- Washington State
Division of Emergency Management (WSDEM) has been instrumental in
installing or upgrading of three transmitters in eastern Washington.
All the projects have resulted in expanded or significantly improved
NWR coverage with substantial monetary savings to the NWS. In addition,
WSDEM has designed, acquired and installed the hazards warning system
at a military as well as, nuclear site, which integrates their warning
system into several NWR regional transmitters.
- Ken Fagnant &
Dennis Godfrey, through their joint efforts, have obtained a new transmitter
that expands NWR coverage in southeastern Idaho. In addition, their
efforts have resulted in placing NWR receivers in schools, school
administrative facilities, city and county offices, hospitals, libraries,
elder care facilities, and road and bridge facilities.
- Steve Johnson
of Steve Johnson and Associates, Fresno, Calif., is recognized for
his donation of more than 100 programmable NOAA Weather Radio receivers
to area Office of Emergency Services, and primary and secondary health
care facilities. Johnson’s personal generosity is a major step
in keeping the county health facilities informed of potential severe
- Medina Electric
Cooperative using Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service
grant money, installed four new NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards transmitters
in parts of south Texas. The combined effort included working with
city and county leaders in a 17-county service area to raise matching
funds and donations as well as a media campaign to develop NOAA Weather
- Van Wert County
Emergency Management Agency through their efforts on November 10,
2002, when an F-4 tornado cut a path one half mile wide through the
city and county of Van Wert, Ohio. Van Wert County Emergency Manager
Rick McCoy activated the county’s emergency preparedness plan
and triggered an alarm at the theater based on a NOAA Weather Radio
tornado warning. The theater manager followed the instructions and
led 50 children and their parents to shelter before the theater was
demolished. There were no fatalities.
- Norman Parent
helped expand NOAA Weather Radio transmitter coverage into eastern
Montana. As a volunteer, Norm Parent was crucial in getting commitments
from four sets of county commissioners, the Mid Rivers Telephone Cooperative,
an electric cooperative, four county emergency managers and two NOAA
National Weather Service offices.
Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and
warnings for the United States and its territories. The National Weather
Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast
system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance
the national economy.
NOAA is dedicated
to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction
and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental
stewardship of the Nation’s coastal and marine resources. NOAA
is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
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