2018 Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest Winners Named

RELEASE DATE: Mar 05, 2018

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The top four students who submitted preparedness posters in the 2018 Severe Weather Awareness contest were recognized this morning at the Proclamation Signing Ceremony for Severe Weather Awareness Week at the Capitol.

Clayton Butler, 10, a fourth grader at Hemingford Public Schools (Box Butte County), earned first place in the contest. More than 900 fourth graders submitted preparedness posters in the 2018 Severe Weather Awareness Contest sponsored by the Nebraska Association of Emergency Management (NAEM), the National Weather Service (NWS), the Nebraska Military Department and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Butler’s poster features Blue Lightning, a super hero who teaches about safety as well as a comic strip about Opposite Cooper, a guy who doesn’t care about safety and keeps getting struck by lightning because he doesn’t follow safe practices during lightning storms. Blue Lightning says: “Safety is super, so don’t be like Cooper!”

Lt. Gov. Mike Foley proclaimed March 25-31 as Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week. The week is observed to increase awareness of, and response to spring and summer severe weather hazards. As part of the week’s observance a statewide tornado drill is scheduled at 10 a.m. on March 28.

“We want all Nebraskans to take some time to during Severe Weather Awareness Week to prepare for spring and summer severe weather,” said Bryan Tuma, NEMA assistant director. “The devastating impacts of extreme events can be reduced through improved readiness. Make a safety plan, create a preparedness kit and review proper safety precautions. It is a good practice for those of us who live in areas affected by tornadoes, floods and severe thunderstorms.”

The annual contest was open to all fourth grade students in Nebraska. Lt. Gov. Foley presented the students with certificates signed by Gov. Pete Ricketts. County emergency managers submitted their top three posters from their counties for judging at the state level.

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.

Second Place went to Erin Gegg, 10, of Odell Elementary School in Diller (Jefferson County), whose poster recommends that people “Take Cover from the Elements: Lightning, Flooding and Tornadoes.”

Caydence Feldman, 9, of Litchfield Public Schools in Sherman County, submitted a poster that featured a variety of weather events. It reminded people that the weather events are coming fast and are unexpected. Caydence says: “Don’t delay and be protected.”

Fourth place by Kinsey Lauby, 10, of Loomis Public School in Phelps County reminds Nebraskans to “Stop taking pictures of tornadoes and get inside.” It features three photographers being swept away by a tornado.

Posters were judged on originality, effort and accuracy. The top prize is a $125 gift card, second is $100 and third $75, all provided by NAEM. NWS provides a $50 gift card for fourth place. NEMA provides certificates for all the students and the Nebraska Military Department mats the posters as a remembrance for students.

The top four:

First Place

Clayton Butler                         Hemingford                     Box Butte County                  Hemingford Public Schools

Second Place                   

Erin Gegg                                  Diller                                   Jefferson County                  Diller-Odell Elementary School

Third Place

Caydence Feldman              Litchfield                           Sherman County                   Litchfield Public School

Fourth Place

Kinsey Lauby                          Loomis                              Phelps County                        Loomis Public School


Honorable Mentions

Ryder Anderson-Ray            West Point                        Cuming County                      Guardian Angels School                       

Hannah Hendricks                Hershey                            Lincoln County                       Hershey Public School

Mylee Kammin                       Lincoln                               Lancaster County                 Ruth Hill Elementary School

Payten Nielsen                       Niobrara                            Knox County                           Niobrara Public Schools

Haylee Ray                              Spalding                            Greeley County                      Riverside Public Schools

Reese Rethwisch                  Wayne                               Wayne County                        Wayne Elementary School

Jacob Rice                               Oxford                                Furnas County                        Southern Valley Schools

Anna Kate Verdoni                Papillion                            Sarpy County                          St. Columbkille School

Kendal Wineteer                    Aurora                                Hamilton County                   Aurora Elementary School


For more information on severe weather awareness or preparing for severe weather visit:

 (click on the links at the bottom of the page) OR


 Pictures from the proclamation ceremony are on the NEMA Flickr account at: