Contact: Susan A. Weaver
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 representatives of the Iowa Area 15 Regional Planning Commission. The representatives were honored for support of NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio. NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.

Now in its seventh year, the Mark Trail Award program honors individuals and organizations that use or provide NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio receivers and transmitters to save lives and protect property. Nineteen award recipients will be recognized nationally this year.

“NOAA is proud to honor representatives of the Iowa Area 15 Regional Planning Commission,” 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 Iowa.”

The Iowa Area 15 Regional Planning Commission was honored for its cooperative efforts with the Iowa State Emergency Management Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which made 24,000 NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio receivers available to residents of Appanoose, Davis, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Van Buren, Wapello and Wayne counties for the reduced price of $11 per unit.

According to Rob DeRoy, data program manager at the Des Moines NOAA Weather Service Forecast Office in Johnston, Iowa, the partnership has helped ensure the safety of residents in the 10-county area of south-central and southeast Iowa.

“Every resident in a 10-county area now has access to the fastest way possible of receiving severe weather warnings,” DeRoy said. “Officials of the Area 15 Regional Planning Commission made certain to provide the newest NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio receivers that are programmable to limit warning tone alarms to specific areas. That means residents know severe weather is approaching if they hear the tone alarm on the receivers.”

“The combination of improved severe weather detection and forecasting capabilities, and expansion of our Weather & All Hazards Radio network is a proven formula for saving lives,” National Weather Service Central Region Director Dennis McCarthy said.

The Mark Trail awards are named for the nationally syndicated comic strip character, which 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 the use of NWR. The strip's education message explains 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.

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

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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