NOAA 2004-R270
Contact: Marcie Katcher

NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has presented a Mark Trail NOAA Weather and All Hazards Radio Award to three Pennsylvania partners: the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency; Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association; and Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation. The award winners will all be honored in a ceremony on June 3 in Washington, D.C. 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.

“The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency; Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association; and Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation has made a valuable contribution to their 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.”

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is being honored for their partnership with the National Weather Service and dedication to expanding the NWR network across the state of Pennsylvania. PEMA provided nearly $100,000 to purchase and install two new NWR transmitters that were placed in areas that had poor or no coverage due to the complex terrain. The first transmitter was located in Blair County, near Altoona, Pa. and covers all of Blair county and parts of several surrounding counties. The second transmitter was located in Potter County, near Coudersport, Pa.

The remaining funds from the installation of the Coudersport transmitter were used to purchase 165 NWR receivers to be placed in schools, nursing homes, hospital, day care centers as well as all municipal buildings and police/fire departments. This purchase of NOAA weather radio receivers allowed Potter County to become the 17th county in Pennsylvania to become StormReady.

The Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association is being honored as a key player in installing three NWR transmitters in Pennsylvania. These transmitters were installed by three separate Cooperatives. The Central Electric Cooperative installed a transmitter in Parker, Pa., the Warren Electric Cooperative installed a transmitter in Youngsville, PA and the Valley Rural Electric Cooperative installed a transmitter in Huntingdon, Pa.

The dedication to public safety by the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association is seen in their commitment to the NOAA Weather Radio, All Hazards program. The Cooperatives have valuable resources such as tower space that allow for extensive coverage for NOAA Weather Radio, All Hazards. It is only through partnerships and sharing of resources that allows the NOAA’s National Weather Service to complete its mission of protecting lives and property.

The Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation is being honored for their contribution of $2000 to the Elk County Emergency Services that allowed the county to purchase 31 NOAA weather radio receivers with external antennas. These receivers will be placed in all schools (public, private and parochial), hospitals, and other County owned buildings with public access. For a rural Pennsylvania county, this is a significant donation and will help to warn the public of any future disasters.

The purchase and distribution of NOAA weather radio receivers for this county is their final hurdle in becoming a StormReady Community. Without the donation from the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation, this community would struggle to meet StormReady criteria and would continue to be less prepared for hazards.

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 available at: