Don’t fret, kiddos. And parents of kiddos.
Neither rain nor snow nor hail nor sleet will keep Santa out of the skies on Christmas Eve. And government shutdown or not, NORAD’s Santa Tracker will follow the Jolly Ol’ Man’s journey every reindeer step of the way.
The Santa Tracker, celebrating its 63rd year,
won’t be affected by the government shutdown, which started early Saturday after nine governmental departments ran out of funding, and Congress and the White House failed to strike a deal to keep things running.
Even if the shutdown extends through the holidays, as expected, the Santa Tracker will still use satellites and radar to keep tabs on St. Nick’s journey around the globe and take calls from anxious kids (and maybe a few grown-up kids at heart) who will want to know if he has been spotted anywhere in their 'hood.
The Santa Tracker is staged every year by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, a joint organization of the United States and Canada that provides aerospace and maritime warnings and aerospace control of North America.
“We’re on duty 24-7, 365 days a year,” said Capt. Cameron Hillier, spokesman for NORAD and U.S. North Command.
NORAD gets its U.S. funding through the Department of Defense, whose budget was approved by Congress and signed into law by Trump.
Not that that would even matter.
A minimal amount of federal funding from the United States and Canada is used for the Santa Tracker. Most of the program’s resources are provided by corporate sponsors and by about 1,400 volunteers who will join NORAD on Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and help man an around-the-clock call center Dec. 24.
Besides the call center, which will answer questions from good little girls and boys, the Santa Tracker features a mobile friendly website (www.noradsanta.org), social media channels and a “Santa Cam” streaming video. On Christmas Eve, users may call 1-877-HiNORAD to get an up-to-date report on Santa’s location.