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Partnership Brings NOAA Weather Radio to Western Maryland
12/15/2000

A partnership among the National Weather Service, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Frostburg State University and Verizon will bring potentially life-saving warnings to residents of Western Maryland as soon as January.

More than a year ago, the National Weather Service and Maryland Emergency Management Agency teamed up to bring NOAA Weather Radio to Western Maryland. Frostburg State University offered WFWM's building to house the transmitter and a tower adjacent to its WFWM tower on Dan's Mountain. Verizon, which owns the property, also gave permission for the use of the site.

The Frostburg transmitter is being installed and should begin broadcasting weather warnings in January. The broadcast will serve Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties in Maryland; Somerset, Bedford and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania; and Mineral, Hampshire, Grant, Hardy and northeastern Tucker counties in West Virginia.

Western Maryland has seen its share of hazardous weather in recent years, from floods to landslides to a violent tornado. These events clearly indicated a need for NOAA Weather Radio coverage in the region.

NOAA Weather Radio is a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week weather information broadcast. Its most important feature is a special alert - a tone and a digital burst -- that tells listeners that a hazard warning is about to be broadcast. This digital burst alert is sent to television and radio broadcasters to activate their Emergency Alert System (EAS).

Weather radios, which are special receivers for NOAA broadcasts, can be purchased at electronics stores or through catalogs. Weather radios can wake you up at night if a flood or tornado is coming. Receivers programmed to use the digital burst can be set to alert you only when warnings are issued for your county.

For more information on NOAA Weather Radio, visit the Web site at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/ or contact Barbara Watson at the National Weather Service at (703) 260-0107, ext. 223, or Quentin Banks at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency at (410) 517-3600.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu