501 c3 Non-Profit

Ed Piotrowski 2019 John Coleman Award Recipient

Leslie Chapman-Henderson 2019 William Gray Award Recipient

Ed Piotrowski is ABC 15's Chief Meteorologist. He has spent his entire 28 year broadcast career in the coastal Carolinas. He earned his B.S. degree in Meteorology from North Carolina State University, received Magna Cum Laude honors and holds the Seal of Approval from the American Meteorological Society.


In his 25 years in South Carolina, Ed has been named Best Weathercaster in the state twice by the South Carolina Associated Press, Best of the Beach 13 years in a row, and was nominated for the National Hurricane Center's Media Award for outstanding efforts to educate and inform the public about hurricanes and hurricane preparedness.


Each year, Ed visits and speaks to thousands of people at various schools, churches, civic groups, charity functions, and festivals. His extensive knowledge of tropical weather and eagerness to speak to the community enable him to keep his viewers fully aware of potentially dangerous weather situations.

Craig Fugate 2019 Robert and Joanne Simpson Award Recipient

W. Craig Fugate served as President Barack Obama’s FEMA Administrator from May 2009 to January 2017. Previously, he served as Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s Emergency Management Director from 2001-2009. Fugate led FEMA through multiple record-breaking disaster years and oversaw the Federal Government’s response to major events such as the Joplin and Moore Tornadoes, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Matthew, and the 2016 Louisiana flooding. Fugate set a clear and compelling vision, mission, and priorities for FEMA and relentlessly drove the Agency to achieve better outcomes for survivors. FEMA’s effectiveness in dealing with more than 500 Presidentially-declared major disasters and emergencies under

Fugate’s leadership restored the faith of the American people in the Federal Government’s ability to respond to disasters. Prior to his tenure at FEMA, Fugate was widely praised for his management, under Governor Jeb Bush, of the devastating effects of the 2004 and 2005 Florida hurricane seasons (Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis, Katrina, and Wilma).

Fugate’s strategy of setting ambitious goals, establishing clear expectations, and pushing people out of their comfort zones drove FEMA to achieve more in a shorter period of time than many believed possible. Fugate established a leadership culture within FEMA in which taking risks and leaning forward to meet the needs of survivors became a baseline expectation. Fugate established a sweeping policy requiring all FEMA employees to have a disaster role in addition to their day-job. Fugate instituted a comprehensive academic and experiential qualification system for the Agency’s disaster workforce and created thirteen National and Regional Incident Management Assistance Teams to deploy early in support of state, local, tribal, and territorial partners.


During his tenure, Fugate focused not only on restoring FEMA’s response capabilities but on promoting emergency management as a community and shared responsibility. Fugate instituted a permanent effort to build the nation’s capacity to stabilize a catastrophic event within 72 hours. He drove completion of Presidential policy on national preparedness and implemented the National Preparedness System to build unity of effort to address the nation's most significant risks. On Fugate’s watch, FEMA awarded more than $19 billion in preparedness grants, supported more than 700 drills and exercises in 47 states, and had more than 40 million participants take part in grassroots community preparedness drills.


FEMA under Fugate’s leadership fostered a balanced, community-oriented approach to emergency management that builds sustainable and resilient communities before and after disaster strikes. FEMA invested more than $7 billion in hazard mitigation assistance during Fugate’s tenure even as the Agency took steps to require disaster grantees to rebuild to hazard- resistant codes and standards in FEMA-funded post-disaster grant projects. During Fugate’s tenure, rates of adoption for disaster resilient building codes nationwide increased from 40% in 2009 to 63% in 2016. Fugate also provided Federal Government-wide leadership on reducing disaster risk through efforts to develop for President Obama’s approval executive orders that reduce the Nation’s flood, earthquake, and wildfire risk through managed Federal investment in hazard-prone areas.

Preparing for Hurricane Season

The National Tropical Weather Conference is the nation’s forum for professional training in hurricane preparedness for media and business. The two day conference covers all major aspects of hurricane preparedness, providing a unique opportunity to learn from top experts in tropical meteorology.


The setting for the conference is along the beach of South Padre Island, Texas the site of several hurricane landfalls including Beulah and Dolly.


Attendees come from around the country to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.  Dr. Philip Klotzbach launches the conference with the current hurricane seasonal forecast.

Professional Credit Available

The National Tropical Weather Conference offers 2 professional development credits to NWA and AMS broadcast members  and certificates to document participation in the conference.

Getting #HurricaneStrong

HurricaneStrong is a national hurricane resilience initiative developed by Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes.  The initiative, which kicked off for the 2016 hurricane season is designed to save lives and homes through collaboration with leading organizations in the disaster safety movement.


The effort comes at a critical time as public awareness about hurricane readiness is declining due to fewer land-falling storms in the Atlantic.  The collaboration offers empowering hurricane safety and mitigation information through business summits, digital channels, events, home improvement store workshops, media outreach, school lesson plans, and a social media campaign featuring a #HurricaneStrong “Pose”.


I'm Ready to Sail!

Includes drinks, dinner & live entertainment!

Leslie Chapman-Henderson is President and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 100 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster-resistant nation including: BASF, FEMA, Florida Division of Emergency Management, International Code Council, Kohler Power Systems, NOAA/National Weather Service, North Carolina State University, Portland Cement Association, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie, State Farm, Texas Tech Wind Science & Engineering, The Home Depot, University of Florida, USAA and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc.


Ms. Chapman-Henderson and FLASH have championed the cause of disaster-resilient construction methods through the creation of groundbreaking consumer awareness programs like StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort; and Blueprint for Safety®, an integrated educational program on disaster-resistant construction techniques for homebuilders, homeowners and design professionals.


Ms. Chapman-Henderson’s civic, community and professional recognition include the 2010 designation by Cable News Network as a member of the CNN New Guard of the South – an elite group of leaders from academic, business, entertainment, government, nonprofit, philanthropy and sports fields. She and FLASH have received myriad awards including: the 2011 National VOAD Partner of the Year Award, 2011 Governor’s Hurricane Conference Governor’s Award, 2009 Governor’s Hurricane Conference Corporate Award for StormStruck®, 2008 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement in Mitigation Award, 2008 Governor’s Hurricane Conference Corporate Award, 2006 Texas Silver Spur Award for Public Education Excellence, 2006 Governor’s Hurricane Conference Public Information/Education Award, 2005 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement in Public Awareness Award, 2005 National Weather Association Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award, 2005 NOAA Environmental Hero Award and many more.


Ms. Chapman-Henderson has served as co-chair of the legislatively-created My Safe Florida Home Advisory Council, as a board trustee for Florida International University – International Hurricane Research Center, an Advisory Council member for the Florida State University Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center, consumer representative and chair for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council, guest lecturer at Florida State University and the University of Florida – School of Construction and as a Florida representative to the Federal Communications Commission WARN Committee.


Other past service includes trustee for the Florida Fire and Emergency Services Foundation; consumer representative to the Louisiana Uniform Building Code Task Force; consumer representative and vice chair of the 2005 Florida Legislative Task Force on Long Term Solutions for Florida’s Hurricane Insurance

Market; and insurance consumer representative to the 2006 Property and Casualty Insurance Reform Committee chaired by former Lt. Governor Toni Jennings.


FLASH program successes include television appearances on CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC and nationally-syndicated programs This New House, Bob Vila and Home Again with Bob Vila; production of a one-hour, nationally televised multi-hazard PBS Special entitled, Blueprint for Safety – Disaster-Resistant Homes; and “A Tale of Two Houses,” a multi-media awareness campaign showcasing code and code-plus construction success stories in wildfire and high-wind zones.

Photo Gallery


Join Mark Sudduth on a journey into a new chapter in the "Tracking the Hurricanes" series.

Follow along as Mark develops new technologies, including the weather balloon project: HURRB and an unmanned camera system that would ultimately be put in to to use during hurricanes Hermine and Matthew in 2016.


Who Should Attend?

• National and Local Broadcast Media

• Meteorologists

• Insurance Companies

• Private Industry

• Public & Private Utility Companies

• Oil and Gas Industry

• Fleet Operations Companies

• Marine Operations Companies

• Public Safety Officials

• Students



© 2018 SSN Inc.  A production of the Storm Science Network Inc.  a 501 c3 non-profit.    San Antonio, Texas  •  210-508-4454