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2007 Hurricane Awareness Tour Visits Elizabeth City, North Carolina

On May 3, 2007, officials from NOAA including Bill Proenza, the new National Hurricane Center Director and “Kermit”, one of   NOAA’s WP-3 Orion turboprop Hurricane Hunter airplanes, stopped at the US Coast Guard Support Center in Elizabeth on the fourth stop of a five stop east coast Hurricane Awareness Tour.  The tour raises public awareness of hurricanes that can threaten the Atlantic Seaboard.  The team of NOAA hurricane experts were joined by emergency management officials, non-profit organizations such as the American Red Cross and staff from the Newport and Raleigh, NC and Wakefield, VA National Weather Service forecast offices.

Admiral Behn from NOAA Aircraft Operations Center is interviewed by
local media in front of the NOAA in the Carolinas display booth at the event.

Over 700 school children toured the plane.  “We spend considerable time talking with children on the aircraft. If any of them take that message home to their parents, many more lives can be saved. This is a great way to teach hurricane awareness,” said James McFadden, PhD., chief of programs at the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center.

Students Touring the NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft "Kermit"

Students were also able to tour Coast Guard aircraft and other
State of North Carolina emergency management displays.

“Even though last season had a below average number of tropical cyclones with no landfalling hurricanes, we remain in an active hurricane cycle likely to last another 10 to 20 years. Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy” said Proenza.

Director of the National Hurricane Center, Bill Proenza briefs officials representing federal, state, and local government and emergency management and Coast Guard officials.

The Hurricane Awareness Tour has been conducted for more than 25 years, alternating between the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, and is followed by NOAA’s hurricane hazard education campaign during national Hurricane Preparedness Week from May 20 to 26. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1.