The U.S. military agency, known for tracking Santa Claus to deliver gifts on Christmas Eve, does not expect COVID-19 or the “bomb cyclone” hitting North America to affect Saint Nick’s global travels.
NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, is responsible for surveillance and defense of the skies over North America.
But the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based agency also operates the NORAD Tracks Santa service, which allows people to track his Christmas journey through the noradsanta.org website, social media channels, and mobile app.
The agency plans to use around 1,500 volunteers on Christmas Eve this year to take phone calls from children wanting to know Santa’s whereabouts and delivery schedule.
Lt. Gen. David Nahom, a NORAD official based in Anchorage, Alaska, said the pandemic hasn’t impacted Santa’s busy delivery schedule and he doesn’t expect any impact this weekend.
The freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall disrupting vacation trips to the U.S. shouldn’t be a problem for a man living in the North Pole, Nahom said.
“I think Santa will feel right at home with the arctic weather hitting the lower 48,” Nahom said.
NORAD’s holiday tradition began in 1955 after a child mistakenly called a military command in Colorado to speak to Santa. More calls came in, so the duty commander assigned an officer to answer Santa’s calls, and tradition caught on.
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