TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® today announced the four finalists selected for the FLASH 2018 National Weatherperson of the Year Award, an annual honor recognizing an outstanding weatherperson for leadership in promoting disaster safety and resilience.
The four finalists were identified from a field of 74 weatherpersons nominated through an online Facebook poll. They were selected for their leadership during this historic year of weather and climate disasters and for their longstanding commitment to disaster safety and resilience.
Paul Goodloe – The Weather Channel
During the 2017 hurricane season, Paul demonstrated remarkable reporting during multiple severe weather events and was able to help save lives and protect property through continued coverage of tropical storms and hurricanes. During Hurricane Harvey, Paul received national attention when he found an American flag in storm debris in Rockport, TX and rescued it by folding it up with a colleague. Paul became the key voice in the network's mission to provide lifesaving information during times of severe weather and educate the public on how to prepare for the storms' arrivals, what to do when the storms made landfall, and how to help after the storms dissipated.
Ada Monzón – WIPR, Puerto Rico
As the first female meteorologist on Puerto Rican television, Ada is considered to be the go-to expert on all things related to hurricanes. Her role as a meteorologist became even more crucial in 2017 as the entire population of the island prepared for the most devastating hurricane in its modern history. She closely followed Irma as it passed through the Caribbean and helped a nation prepare and remain calm during Hurricane Maria, one of the worst natural disasters in its history. Ada is a strong believer in the hurricane preparedness and mitigation efforts and her dedication to this effort likely saved lives in Puerto Rico during last year's hurricanes.
William (Bill) Read – former National Hurricane Center Director (NHC)
As a former Hurricane Hunter and the former NHC Director, Bill is no stranger to catastrophic hurricanes and floods. However, in 2017, Bill found himself in the role of citizen reporter with a front row seat in his living room to Hurricane Harvey. While protecting his family, belongings, and home during the storm, Bill delivered firsthand accounts of the storm via national TV outlets and Facebook while more than 45 inches of rain fell around his home and his community, fortunately stopping short of flooding his home. Bill was selected as a finalist for his tireless dedication to flood mitigation and his career accomplishments as a meteorologist, leader, and public servant.
Tim Smith – KRGV, Texas
Tim is the Chief Meteorologist at KRGV in Weslaco, TX. He has held that position for over 30 years providing viewers across the Rio Grande Valley with accurate, life safety and storm messaging. During Hurricane Harvey, Tim not only focused on preparation but also rescue and recovery.
Tim has leveraged his expertise and his role as both Chief Meteorologist and as Vice President for Storm Science Network Inc., formerly Urban Science Initiative Inc., to provide teacher weather workshops for various school districts in the Rio Grande Valley, educating the educators so they can teach children the dangers and science of severe weather. He works tirelessly to present professional conferences like the National Tropical Weather Conference and StormCenter LIVE, reaching millions with accurate, updated meteorological concepts, disaster safety information, refined concepts of safety messaging, and effective social media disaster communications.
"The National Weatherperson of the Year Award recognizes the essential role that meteorologists play in helping the public prepare for natural disasters," said FLASH President & CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. "The leaders we honor each year share a proven track record of protecting the public and communities from severe weather through professional excellence and a genuine commitment to saving lives and property."
FLASH originated the National Weatherperson of the Year award to coincide with the celebration of National Weatherperson's Day on February 5, the birthday of the pioneering weather observer John Jeffries. After a decade of research on the ground, Jefferies piloted a hot air balloon in 1774 to test weather conditions and advance the science of meteorology. His work paved the way for many aspects of meteorology today.
Past winners include Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel; former National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield; Chief Meteorologist KABB Alex Garcia; and Dr. Rick Knabb, Hurricane Expert & Tropical Program Manager, The Weather Channel.
The 2018 winner will be announced on February 2 via a national news release, on the National Weatherperson of the Year Facebook page, and through the FLASH publications and social media channels. The finalists and winners will be celebrated throughout 2018 and invited to serve as speakers during the National Disaster Resilience Conference in November.
The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. The FLASH partnership includes more than 100 innovative and diverse organizations that share a vision of making America a more disaster-resilient nation including: BASF Corporation, FEMA, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot, Huber Engineered Woods, International Code Council, Kohler Generators, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association, Simpson Strong-Tie, State Farm, and USAA. In 2008, FLASH, and Disney opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes, in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and access free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org, calling toll-free (877) 221- SAFE (7233), following @federalalliance on Twitter, Facebook.com/federalalliance, and the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.
SOURCE Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)