NOAA 2004-R266
Contact: Ron Trumbla

NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has presented a Mark Trail NOAA Weather Radio, All Hazards Award to Kingsville (Kleberg County), Texas Emergency Management Coordinator Tomas Sanchez Jr. at a June 3rd ceremony in Washington, D.C. Sanchez is being honored for his efforts in bringing NWR coverage to five counties in South Texas. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Now in its eighth year, the Mark Trail Award program honors individuals and organizations that use or provide NWR receivers and transmitters to save lives and protect property. Twenty award recipients will be recognized nationally this year.

“Kingsville (Kleberg County), Texas Emergency Management Coordinator Tomas Sanchez Jr. , has made a valuable contribution to his community,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary 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.”

Shortly after Hurricane Bret struck the South Texas coast in 1999, Sanchez took the lead in securing NWR coverage for the 500,000 people living in Kleberg, Nueces, Brooks, Kenedy and Jim Wells Counties. All of these counties were directly affected by the storm, as was the marine community from the waters of Laguna Madre, Baffin Bay and portions of the Gulf of Mexico. Sanchez developed a partnership with Riviera Telephone Company and secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund and install a special NWR transmitter to serve the region. He also works closely with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Corpus Christi to promote the use of NOAA Weather Radios.

The Mark Trail award is 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 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. To learn more about NWS, please visit:

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Information about NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio and the Mark Trail Award is
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