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The 1999 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement Award

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View of This Award
4/4/99 - Orlando
In an April 1st ceremony attended by Florida Governor Jeb Bush, The National Hurricane Conference awarded the 1999 Outstanding Achievement Award to the Hurricane Watch Net.

The criteria for this award is "for outstanding and innovative achievements in a hurricane-related activity which may serve as a model to others."

Dr. T. Michael Carter, Vice Chairman of the National Hurricane Conference presented the award by citing the Hurricane Watch Net's 33 years of continued service in support of Hurricane Warning and relief operations, and for providing lifesaving communications during Hurricanes Georges and Mitch in 1998.

Accepting the award for the Hurricane Watch Net were Mr. Donald J. Kay, K0IND, one of the original founders and Past President of the Net and Mr. Jerry R. Herman, N3BDW, present President and Net Manager. Mr. Kay spoke briefly of the history of the net and its participation in 384 tropical cyclones since its inception during Hurricane Betsy in 1965. Mr. Herman accepted the award by stating that “he was honored to be associated with what he considered the finest group of radio operators anywhere." He went on to say “awards of this magnitude are seldom the result of one person or groups of persons and that was the case with this award." Mr. Herman recognized the accomplishments of all amateur radio operators that provide communications in time of hurricanes whether on the Local, State or National level.

The operators of Amateur Radio Station W4EHW located at the National Hurricane Center also received an Outstanding Achievement award for their continued service to the National Hurricane Center. Accepting on behalf of W4EHW were Mr. John McHugh, KU4GY and Julio Ripoll, WD4JNS. Mr. Ripoll was instrumental in establishing amateur radio at the National Hurricane Center.

In discussing both awards, Mr. Jerry Jarrell, Director of the National Hurricane Center said "the real winner in our relationship with amateur radio operators is the National Hurricane Center. Hams provide essential information and communications that isn't available by any other means."

The National Hurricane Conference is made up of emergency management and meteorological professionals involved in hurricane preparation, mitigation and response.