NOAA 2004-R259
Contact: Ron Trumbla

NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will present a Mark Trail NOAA Weather Radio Award to the Garland County, Ark., Department of Emergency Management at a June 3rd ceremony in Washington, D.C. The department is honored for its work in establishing a new transmitter for NOAA Weather Radio, All Hazards and providing receivers that broaden the reach of the life-saving service to a greater portion of the local population. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Now in its eighth year, the awards program honors individuals, organizations and states that use or provide NWR receivers and transmitters to save lives and property. Twenty award recipients will be recognized this year. Emergency Management Director Joy Sanders will accept the award.

“The Garland County Department of Emergency Management has made a valuable contribution to their community,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA Weather Radio can provide the public with those extra minutes of warning in situations where minutes can save lives.”

Garland County spearheaded a campaign to get funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and the county to build the new transmitter. The staff then obtained a grant to buy receivers that were placed in every school building, day care center and community college facility in the county. The department also developed a multi-hazard safety plan for schools, including a section on weather events and the NWR system. The plan was later adopted for statewide use.

The Mark Trail awards are named for the nationally syndicated comic strip character, which 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 weather radios.

“Jack Elrod and his alter ego, Mark Trail, have been great partners to NOAA National Weather Service in helping educate the public to the importance of having a NOAA Weather Radio in your home when danger threatens,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of the National Weather Service.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The NWS 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. To learn more about the NWS, please visit

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. To learn more about NOAA, please visit .

Information about the NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio and the Mark Trail Awards: