NOAA 2005-R261
Contact: Pat Slattery
NOAA News Releases 2005
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


NOAA today presented a Mark Trail Award to Bob Parson and Parsons Manufacturing of Roanoke, Ill., 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.

Parsons Manufacturing is being honored for its long-standing efforts to protect factory workers from severe weather. Parsons’ severe weather plan is being used by National Weather Service trainers as an example for others to emulate. Following the severe weather plan to perfection enabled 150 workers and managers to avoid injury from a tornado that destroyed the plant on July 13, 2004.

“With this award, we recognize Bob Parsons and Parsons Manufacturing for an important contribution to protect the lives and property of its employees,” 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.”

Parsons accepted the award during a ceremony in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

According to Chris Miller, warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA’s National Weather Service forecast office in Lincoln, Ill., Parsons Manufacturing has demonstrated excellent stewardship in using NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards as a centerpiece of the company’s severe weather plan. “When he established his manufacturing plant in the 1970s, Bob Parsons recognized the need to implement a severe weather plan,” Miller said. “The Parsons plan incorporated several workable aspects of our severe weather training, especially the designation of a severe weather watcher to keep an eye on developing storms so others can continue their work.”

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.

On the Web:


NOAA’s National Weather Service:

NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards and Mark Trail graphics: