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Contact: Ron Trumbla
News Releases 2005
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NOAA today presented a Mark Trail Award to Mary Barton, the principal of Cedar Lee Middle School in Bealeton, Va., for support of the agency’s NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards program. NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Now in its ninth year, the awards program honors individuals and organizations that use or provide NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards receivers or transmitters to save lives and protect property. Seventeen award recipients were recognized nationally this year.
Mary Barton is being honored for acquiring a NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards receiver unit for her school and for developing an action plan for when warnings are issued. Regular tornado drills have become part of the school’s safety program. After training her students, the tornado safety plan was put into operation in September 2004 as the remnants of hurricanes Frances and Ivan spawned tornadoes near the school. When a tornado warning was received, more than 65 students attending after school functions were rushed to safe areas.
“With this award, we recognize Mary Barton for her important contribution to protect the students of her middle school,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “Whenever danger threatens, whatever the hour, NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards can provide those extra minutes of warning in situations where minutes can save lives.“
Barton accepted the award during a ceremony in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
“Cedar Lee Middle School is a showcase for what NOAA’s National Weather Service would like to accomplish with all schools,” said David Manning, warning coordinator meteorologist at NOAA’s National Weather Service in Sterling, Va. “Schools with a NOAA weather radio are better prepared to keep students on school grounds safe from severe weather.”
The Mark Trail Awards are named for the nationally syndicated comic strip character that serves as the campaign symbol for the NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards 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 the radios. In recent years, the strip's education message has included the fact that anyone listening to NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards has instant access to the same lifesaving weather reports and all-hazards information provided to meteorologists, emergency personnel and the media.
“Jack Elrod and his alter ego, Mark Trail, have been great partners to NOAA’s National Weather Service in helping educate the public to the importance of having this device nearby. When weather dangers loom day or night and minutes count, a NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards is the one tool that gives you and me the instantaneous information we need to protect ourselves,” said Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), director of NOAA’s National Weather Service.
NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information direct from a nearby National Weather Service office. NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards broadcasts official National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other civil emergency information 24 hours a day. NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards includes more than 800 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.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, 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 the nation’s coastal and marine resources.
Editor’s Note: Information on NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards and graphics of Mark Trail and are available at: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.
On the Web:
NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov
National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/lwx/