2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week Poster Winners Announced!

John Kaslon, a fourth grade student from St. Paul Public School, in Howard County, earned first place in the 2014 Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest sponsored by the Nebraska Association of Emergency Management (NAEM), the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Kaslon’s poster depicts a tornado approaching a farm, and includes an inside look at a basement, with an emergency tote full of supplies that are ready should disaster strike.

The contest was open to all fourth grade students in Nebraska. The top four finishers were recognized by Gov. Dave Heineman at a proclamation signing for Severe Weather Awareness Week, at the State Capitol on Thursday, March 13th.

Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 24-28th, and is observed to increase awareness of, and response to, severe weather hazards. A statewide tornado drill is scheduled as part of the week, on March 26th. “Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week is a time to prepare for the severe weather we face in the spring and summer months in Nebraska,” said Al Berndt, NEMA assistant director. “We hope all Nebraskans will make a safety plan and review proper safety precautions. The poster contest gives fourth grade students an early lesson on preparedness that they can share with their families.” Severe weather can result in tragic losses that preparation and planning can prevent. Through the poster contest, fourth graders from across the state encourage Nebraskans to follow weather safety precautions.

In her second place poster, Takaylynn Hergott, 10, of Hebron, encouraged people to “Seek Shelter Immediately.” Her poster warned: “As Tornadoes Dance Across Nebraska …Don’t be It’s Dance Partner.”

Joshua Jerabek, 10, of Farwell, had the third place poster, which caught the judge’s attention because it included advice on how to be ready for tornadoes. “Practice tornado drills, listen to local news or NOAA radio, take shelter in a basement or interior room and have food, water and first aid in shelter.”

Ensley Frame, 10, of Omaha, listed tornado safety rules on her poster and included what to do when a tornado watch or tornado warning is issued. “Watch—don’t snooze, watch the news!” and “Warning—don’t be last, find shelter fast!”

Posters were judged on originality, effort and accuracy. The top prize is a $125 gift card, second is $100 and third $75, all sponsored by NAEM. NWS provides a $50 gift card for fourth place. Each of the winners will receive a Weather Alert Radio courtesy of B.J. Fictum, Saline County Emergency Management director. NEMA provides certificates for all the students and has the four winning posters matted.

First: John Kaslon, Ashton, Nebraska, St. Paul Public School, St. Paul, Howard County

Second: Takaylynn Hergott, Hebron, Thayer Central School, Hebron, Thayer County

Joshua Jerabek, Farwell, St. Paul Public School, St. Paul, Howard County

Ensley Frame, Palisades Elementary, Omaha, Sarpy County

Honorable mention in alphabetical order:
Paige Aue, Auburn, Calvert Elementary, Nemaha County
Rachael Boslaugh, Bellevue, Anderson Grove Elementary, Sarpy County
Connor Bradley, Blue Springs, Southern Elementary School, Gage County
Taylor Broers, Hebron, Thayer Central School, Thayer County
Justin Brewer, Falls City, Falls City South School, Richardson County
Victoria Borrego-Casarrubias, Crete, Crete Elementary School, Saline County
Peter Friesen, Omaha, (no school listed), Douglas County
Darrek Lode, Blair, Arbor Park Intermediate, Washington County
Tee McKay, Ord, St. Mary’s School, Loup County
Josephine Noble, Stromsburg, Cross County School, Polk County
Talyn Saathoff, Blue Springs, Southern Elementary, Gage County
Grant Staats, Omaha, Boyd Elementary School, Douglas County
Jaycie Stout, Burwell, Burwell Elementary School, Garfield County
Courtney Swisher, Halsey, Sandhills Elementary School, Thomas County

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