<center><b>DeMint, Nelson Announce Hurricane Prediction Hearing</center></b>

<center>**** NOTE: This hearing, originally scheduled for Wednesday, September 14th, has been postponed due to Hurricane Ophelia. Also, the witness list has been revised. ****</center>

September 13, 2005

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., Commerce Committee’s Disaster Prediction and Prevention Subcommittee Chairman Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Ranking Member Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), and will hold a hearing entitled “The Lifesaving Role of Accurate Hurricane Prediction.” The Disaster Prediction and Prevention Subcommittee has shared jurisdiction over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA). The National Weather Service operates under NOAA and is the primary source of weather data, forecasts, and warnings for the United States. “Hurricane Katrina is a good example of how accurate predictions save lives. Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated because they got early and accurate information. This hearing will focus on what the National Weather Service did right in predicting the path and intensity of Hurricane Katrina, so we can duplicate and improve on that success in the future,” said Senator DeMint. “Without question, accurate storm forecasts save lives,” said Senator Nelson. “The National Weather Service is a critical component in our early warning system when it comes to natural disasters. Federal agencies depend on the NWS forecasts for planning and responding to natural disasters and with several weeks remaining in this year’s hurricane season we need to ensure that federal agencies are receiving and heeding the warnings coming from the NWS.” “Experts tell us we’re entering a twenty-year period of increased severe storm intensity. Hurricane Katrina was likely the worst natural disaster to ever hit America, and it is likely just the beginning," said Chairman DeMint. "The fact is that we’re only in the first inning of a nine inning game, and we need to do every thing we can to maintain and improve accurate predictions of natural disasters.”

Hurricane Prediction Hearing
“The Lifesaving Role of Accurate Hurricane Prediction”
Tuesday, September 20, 2005, 2:30 p.m. – Room 562 of the Dirksen Building
Opening Remarks:
Senator Jim DeMint
Subcommittee Chairman, Natural Disaster Prediction and Prevention
Senator Ben Nelson
Subcommittee Ranking Member, Natural Disaster Prediction and Prevention
Max Mayfield
Director, National Hurricane Center
Windell Curole
General Manager, South Lafourche Levee District
Mark Levitan
Director, LSU Hurricane Center
Dr. Keith G. Blackwell
Associate Professor of Meteorology, Coastal Weather Research Center, University of South Alabama
C. Patrick Roberts
President, Florida Association of Broadcasters