NOAA03-R275
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dennis Hull
6/17/03
NOAA News Releases 2003
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NOAA HONORS WASHINGTON STATE DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, today presented a Mark Trail NOAA Weather Radio Award to the Washington State Emergency Management Division (WSEM). The agency was honored for support of NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio in eastern Washington. NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.

Don Miller, WSEM Division Telecommunications and Warning Systems Manager, is the only recipient of the award from Washington state. The award, one of only 19 given this year, was presented during ceremonies held in Washington, D.C. The award honors individuals and organizations that use or provide NOAA Weather Radio receivers and transmitters to save lives and protect property.

“NOAA is proud to honor Don Miller,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph. D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “His actions have enhanced the safety of citizens in Washington.”

According to Dennis Hull, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Weather Forecast Office in Pendleton, Ore., the Washington State Emergency Management Division has been instrumental in the installation or upgrade of three weather radio transmitters in eastern Washington in the past eighteen months.

“All the projects have resulted in expanded or significantly improved NOAA Weather Radio coverage with substantial monetary savings to the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS). The state has installed the hazards warning system for the Umatilla Army Depot Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program and provided the transmitter for Goldendale, which serves the eastern Columbia River Gorge,” said Hull.

Meteorologist in Charge Mike Vescio said WSEM allowed the NWS to use existing microwave radio links to provide new weather radio programming in Dayton and Pomeroy.

"Because of the efforts of the Washington State Emergency Management Division, we have expanded our Weather Radio network in Eastern Washington. Coupled with the National Weather Service’s severe weather detection and forecasting capabilities, the network advances a proven formula for saving lives," said Vickie Nadolski, director of the National Weather Service’s Western Region.

Miller said, “I am proud of the combined efforts of my staff that culminated in this Mark Trail award. We have been working hard for NOAA and the citizens of Washington state that the system serves. Our country and NOAA are providing a very important safety of life system that so many people can use. Our weather radio campaign this fall will continue to improve the system in Washington state.”

The Mark Trail awards are named for the nationally syndicated comic strip character that 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 through the use of NOAA Weather Radios. In recent years, the strip's education message has included the fact that listeners to NOAA Weather Radio has instant access to the same lifesaving weather reports and all-hazards emergency information provided to meteorologists and emergency personnel.

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of over more than 850 radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information direct from a nearby National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts weather warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day.
NOAA's National 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.

The Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (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 our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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NOAA Weather Radio: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.

NOAA National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/