NOAA 2005-R265
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Vaccaro
5/26/05
NOAA News Releases 2005
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NOAA Public Affairs


NOAA HONORS TOM FAHY WITH MARK TRAIL AWARD

NOAA today presented a Mark Trail Award to Tom Fahy, founder of Broadcast Strategy Group, for his strong advocacy 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.

“As director of Government Affairs for Maryland DC Delaware Broadcasters Association, Tom worked with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the National Capital Region emergency management agencies to strengthen the Emergency Alert System and promote the AMBER plan,” said Henry Black, assistant director for communications, Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

While serving on the Department of Justice National AMBER Alert Advisory Group, Fahy contributed to the development of strategies supporting states and communities to strengthen the AMBER Alerts nationwide. One such example is the dissemination of AMBER Alerts over the NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards network.

“With this award, we recognize Tom Fahy for his important contribution to protect the lives and property across our country,” 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.“

Fahy accepted the award today during a ceremony in the Canon House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

“Tom continues to use his knowledge of Washington and the broadcast industry to educate members of Congress and state officials on the NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards proven record in the reduction of severe weather related injuries and fatalities and its expanded role to provide warnings for civil emergencies. Most recently, Fahy was Project Manager for the highly successful National Alliance of State Broadcaster Associations’ Summit on EAS and has developed a comprehensive media plan to increase national awareness of NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards,” said Scott Carter, NOAA Office of Legislative Affairs.

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: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov

NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards and graphics of Mark Trail: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr