Contact: Susan A. Weaver
NOAA News Releases 2003
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NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, yesterday, June 17, presented a Mark Trail NOAA Weather Radio Award to representatives of the Kansas City, Mo., Metropolitan Emergency Management Committee (MEMC) and Price Chopper Grocers. The representatives for MEMC and Price Chopper 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 MEMC and Price Chopper,” 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 Missouri.”

The Metropolitan Emergency Management Committee partnered with Price Chopper to organize Project Community Alert in 2002 with the goal of placing 100,000 NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio receivers in the hands of residents in the eight-county metro area over three years. Price Chopper executives contracted to provide NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio receivers at a reduced price to customers at 37 stores in Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri.

According to Lynn Maximuk, meteorologist in charge at the Kansas City NOAA Weather Service Forecast Office in Pleasant Hill, Mo., the campaign has been well received by area residents, who are well versed in severe weather.

“During the outbreak of tornadoes we experienced in early May, NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio was a vital tool for informing residents of impending dangers,” Maximuk said. “NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio was an important communications tool for the concerted cooperative effort of the National Weather Service, local emergency managers and the media in keeping area residents advised of what was going on at the time and what was coming in the near future. Implementation of Project Community Alert in 2002 set the stage for that successful cooperative effort.”

“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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