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NOAA News Releases 2003
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NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, today presented a Mark Trail NOAA Weather Radio Award to Steve Johnson of Steve Johnson and Associates of Fresno, Calif. The firm was honored for support of NWR in central California. NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.

Johnson, a certified weather spotter, attended the June 17 ceremony in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Now in its seventh year, the awards program honors individuals and organizations that use or provide NWR receivers and transmitters to save lives and protect property. Nineteen award recipients were recognized nationally this year.

“NOAA is proud to honor Steve Johnson and his associates,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph. D. , under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “Their actions have enhanced the safety of citizens in central California.”

Vickie Nadolski, director of the National Weather Service’s Western Region, said, "Because of the efforts of the Steve Johnson, we have expanded the NOAA Weather Radio network in California. Coupled with the National Weather Service’s severe weather detection and forecasting capabilities, the network advances a proven formula for saving lives. "

The Mark Trail awards are named for the nationally syndicated comic strip character that serves as the campaign symbol for the NWR 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 NWRs. In recent years, the strip's education message has included the fact that anyone listening to the NWR has instant access to the same lifesaving weather reports and all-hazards emergency information provided to meteorologists and emergency personnel.

NWR is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information direct from a nearby National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. NWR includes more than 800 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories.

According to NWS San Joaquin Valley Meteorologist in Charge Steve Mendenhall, “In 2002, Steve Johnson donated fifty NWRs for distribution to area primary health care facilities and to the Office of Emergency Services Managers as part of ‘Project Alert’. He recently donated an additional 48 radios that will be provided to secondary care, other selected facilities, and special schools-in-need. Other radios will be used to enable communities to apply for future NWS StormReady community certifications.” The additional donated radios, at a value of close to $8,300, will be distributed by the NWS.

“Through our close working relationship with the staff at NWS San Joaquin Valley Office in Hanford, we recognized that the local community needed these specialized radios to provide a link for information during weather-related emergencies,” said Johnson. “We were not expecting such a distinction for making the contribution, however, we are honored to have been able to play a small part in the effort that ended with this award. My staff and I are privileged to provide assistance, when needed to our country, our community, and to the efforts of the National Weather Service.”

Mendenhall noted Johnson’s projects have resulted in expanded or significantly improved NWR coverage with substantial monetary savings to the NWS, and the value of his efforts in keeping the area informed of inclement weather situations.

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 Commerce Department'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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