Knowing what to do when there's a tornado watch or warning for your vicinity was Lillian Cohen's message in her winning poster for the 2011 Severe Weather Poster Contest. "Watch - Don't Snooze! Pay Attention to the News! Warning - Don't Be Last You Gotta Find Shelter Fast!" were some of her tips.
Cohen, a fourth grade student at Friedel Jewish Academy in Omaha earned first place in the annual contest sponsored by the Nebraska Association of Emergency Managers, National Weather Service and Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. The contest was open to fourth grade students in Nebraska schools.
"We had more entries this year than any previous year of the contest," said Gage County Emergency Manager Mark Meints. "This contest encourages awareness of the dangers of severe weather and preparedness steps individuals can take to be ready when severe weather strikes their community."
Twenty seven emergency managers submitted entries for their counties and numerous individuals sent in their own posters. The selection committee judged 96 finalists, but there were many more entries as emergency managers only submitted their top three picks. The winners are:
First Place - Lillian Cohen, Omaha, Friedel Jewish Academy, Douglas County
Second Place - Margaret McGinnis, Cozad, Cozad Elementary, Dawson County
Third Place - Colin Rimsky, Papillion, Home School, Sarpy County
Fourth Place - Bryce Christensen, St. Paul, St. Paul Public School, Howard County
The top four finishers were recognized by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman at the State Capitol on Wednesday, March 9, during a Proclamation Signing for Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 14th-18th. The week is an opportunity to increase awareness of and response to severe weather hazards and is designed to encourage Nebraskans to be prepared for severe weather by making a safety plan and reviewing proper safety precautions for protecting their lives during severe weather. Through the poster contest, fourth graders from across the state encouraged Nebraskan’s to follow weather safety precautions.
In addition to the top four, 14 students will receive honorable mention certificates from their county emergency managers.
Honorable Mentions were awarded to:
Carlee Archibeque, Burwell, Burwell Elementary School, Garfield County
Elizabeth Blaser, Duncan, Lost Creek Elementary School, Platte County
Ashley Briere, Lincoln, Human Elementary School, Lancaster County
Carson Boetcher, Lincoln, St. Patrick School, Lancaster County
Lucas Clark, Avoca, Weeping Water Public School, Cass County
Gerricka Dacpano, Ord, St. Mary’s School, Valley County
Shelby Decker, Blue Springs, Southern Elementary School, Gage County
Citori Lutz, Benkelman, Benkelman Elementary School, Dundy County
Claire Meerian, Gretna, Thomas Elementary School, Sarpy County
Emily Morris, Gretna, Thomas Elementary School, Sarpy County
Alexis Sack, St. Paul, St. Paul Elementary School, Howard County
Olivia Sis, Benkelman, Benkelman Elementary School, Dundy County
Ellie Walter, Omaha, St. Pius/St. Leo Elementary School, Douglas County
Gabby Witkowski, Omaha, Friedel Jewish Academy, Douglas County