NOAA Weather Radio Champions
Honored on Capitol Hill
Mark Trail Awards were presented to 16 individuals, associations
and local governments
this week for efforts to significantly expand NOAA
Weather Radio's 24-hour coverage across the nation. At a Capitol
Hill ceremony, Scott B. Gudes, NOAA's acting administrator said,
"NOAA Weather Radio has been the link between life and death, and
the efforts of the award recipients demonstrates the urgency of
having up-to-the-second information before a potentially dangerous
Mark Trail, a syndicated comic strip published in approximately
175 newspapers, has been the "official" spokesman for NOAA Weather
Radio since 1997. Jack Elrod, the creator, writer and illustrator,
has developed over 45 comic strips on NOAA-related issues.
2001 Mark Trail Award Recipients
Sabrina Duckworth receives award from (from left) Richard Hallgren,
director emeritus of American Meteorological Society and former
of the National Weather Service; Scott Gudes, acting NOAA administrator;
Jack Kelly, director of the National Weather Service; and
Jack Elrod, Mark Trail's creator.
Sabrina Duckworth, 13, Jasper County, Mississippi
Sabrina is a terrific example of why, in addition to safety, NOAA
promotes NOAA Weather Radio in the nation's schools - the aim is
to have kids go home and tell their parents about it. Two years
ago, when she was only 11, Sabrina did exactly that - and her rapid-fire
action following a NOAA Weather Radio tornado report gave many in
her community time to take cover.
Robert Cashdollar, Washington, D.C.
Thanks to Bob's matchmaking, a partnership between the National
Weather Service and the USDA Rural Utilities Service means that
millions of people in rural America now have access to NOAA Weather
Radio's lifesaving broadcasts.
James Pitchford, Macoupin County, Illinois
As emergency management director, James used a $50,000 bank grant
to put NOAA Weather Radio in all schools, day care centers, nursing
homes, hospitals, school bus garages, and many other public sites
throughout a three-county area.
Beebe School District, Beebe, Arkansas
School superintendent Dr. Keith Williams was well prepared when
NOAA Weather Radio sounded a tornado alert early on January 21,
1999. Dr. Williams cut short a basketball game and evacuated 300
onlookers. When a tornado struck the gym less than an hour later,
there was no loss of life.
Communications Services for the Deaf, Aberdeen, South Dakota
After spearheading local contributions, this group purchased 19
NOAA Weather Radios, complete with red strobe lights and bed shakers.
When the radio receives a warning, the light goes on and the bed
shaker vibrates the pillow or mattress, ensuring 24-hour protection
for the hearing-impaired.
Northern Electric Cooperative, Bath, South Dakota
Numerous homes, schools, businesses, and other sites in eastern
South Dakota and western Minnesota now have safety coverage because
this cooperative worked with other rural electric cooperatives to
promote NOAA Weather Radio, then sell receivers at cost to members.
Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative, Palmyra, Missouri
Thanks to Northeast Missouri Electric, the National Weather Service
now has 3 more NOAA Weather Radio transmitters along with back-up
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Arlington, Virginia
This group's leadership led to the donation by member cooperatives
of more than 30 NOAA Weather Radio transmitters and tower space
for several antennas.
National Safety Council, Washington, D.C.
Through the safety venues of member organizations, the Council has
supported NOAA Weather Radio on many levels and is an active supporter
of NOAA Weather Radio's expansion goals.
Illinois Emergency Management Agency
For two years, this Agency has helped spearhead promotion and distribution
of NOAA Weather Radios throughout the state of Illinois, mostly
to mobile home communities. Working with the National Weather Service
and the Illinois Insurance Association, the Agency will distribute
over 4,000 receivers in 31 communities this year.
Iowa State Emergency Management Agency
Actively supporting NOAA Weather Radio's expansion, this agency
has already provided four transmitters. Six more will be installed
soon - and funding for another 12 is in the works. This means that
Iowa is well on its way to having almost 100% weather safety coverage.
Operation Warn Team-Central Oklahoma
The cooperative efforts of Oklahoma City Emergency Management, State
of Oklahoma Emergency Management, and the National Weather Service's
forecast office in Norman, formed a warn team that worked with Wal-Mart
to substantially reduce the costs of 100,000 radios. Together with
local tv stations, the warn team has helped place about 22,000 receivers
in homes and businesses.
Tennessee State Emergency Management Agency
This agency has brought NOAA Weather Radio to every school in Tennessee
that is within the range of a NOAA Weather Radio transmitter. Missouri
Emergency Management Agency This agency has supported NOAA Weather
Radio's expansion by providing nearly $1 million to cover the cost
of transmitter installations. So far, 10 transmitters have been
donated, with seven more to be installed by mid-summer. Ultimately,
26 transmitters will be installed and donated to the weather service,
bringing NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts to nearly 100 percent of
Dare County, North Carolina
Dare County leaders donated a NOAA Weather Radio transmitter.
Missouri Emergency Management Agency
Deputy Director Beaufort Katt
Both were cited for initiative in generating support from state
and local emergency management for the National Weather Service's
NOAA Weather Radio Cooperator Expansion Program.