NWS Partners Receive 2007 Mark Trail Award


Advancing the Life-Saving Role of NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards

James Spann-ABC 33/40

Publix Super Markets

Rich Thomas-WSFA 12


NOAA presented the Mark Trail Award to Publix Super Markets, Inc., Chief Meteorologist James Spann of Birmingham�s ABC 33/40, WSFA-TV 12 of Montgomery and Chief Meteorologist Rich Thomas of WSFA-TV 12 for their support of the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards Program. This annual award program, now in its eleventh year, honors individuals and organizations that use or provide NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards receivers or transmitters in an effort to save lives and protect property. Nineteen award recipients from around the country will be recognized at an award ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The recipients are being honored for outstanding and continuing efforts to promote NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards. Spann and ABC 33/40 partnered with Publix Super Markets and Handy TV and Appliance to provide receivers with Specific Area Message Encoder technology at reduced prices. Spann tirelessly promoted the campaign during weather broadcasts, station promotions, and public appearances. This effort resulted in the purchase of thousands of receivers. Thomas and WSFA-TV 12 partnered with Publix Super Markets to provide weather radio receivers at a reduced price. The campaign was vigorously and enthusiastically promoted on the station, resulting in the sale of thousands of weather radios. WSFA�s web site also contains a link to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Birmingham. This provided a listing of radio frequencies, transmitter locations, and codes for any county within the Birmingham Office�s County Warning Area.

�With this award, we recognize Publix Super Markets, James Spann, ABC 33/40, Rich Thomas and WSFA-TV 12 for their important contribution to help NOAA meet its mission of protecting lives and property,� said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. �Whatever the danger, whatever the hour, when minutes count, you can count on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards.� �Through their actions, Publix, Spann, ABC 33/40, WSFA-TV 12 and Rich Thomas have clearly demonstrated their commitment to the people they serve and to public safety,� said Jason Wright, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Birmingham.

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 life-saving 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 to educate the public about the importance of owning this device. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is the one tool that provides the instantaneous information necessary to protect lives,� 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 transmitters broadcasting continuous weather information direct from a nearby National Weather Service Forecast 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 950 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries, and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts, and protects.

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