March 25, 2019 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — Today through Friday marks Severe Weather Awareness Week in Nebraska. Following the recent response and recovery to severe weather that affected most of Nebraska during the past two weeks, most Nebraskans will already be aware of the need to prepare for hazardous weather conditions that can occur during the spring and summer months in Nebraska. The state celebrates Severe Weather Awareness Week each year as a way to get citizens prepared for severe weather.
A proclamation by Gov. Pete Ricketts signed March 12, reminded Nebraskans that community preparedness can minimize the dangers, which the annual severe weather season presents, to the lives and property of Nebraskans.
Many communities will be participating in the annual statewide tornado drill, to be held Wednesday, March 27 at 10 a.m. as part of the week’s activities. The Wednesday drill offers a time for residents, businesses and industries to test their severe weather emergency preparedness plans. The morning drill will begin around 10 a.m., with the issuance of a mock tornado warning and activation of outdoor warning sirens about 10 to 15 minutes later. If severe weather is possible that day, the drill may be postponed or canceled.
“We want all Nebraskans to take some time during Severe Weather Awareness Week to prepare for spring and summer severe weather,” said NEMA Assistant DirectorBryan Tuma. “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’s just a good practice for those of us who live in areas affected by tornadoes, floods and severe thunderstorms.”
Resources for staying prepared are available on the NEMA website at https://nema.nebraska.gov/
Scroll to the bottom of the front page and select the hazard you want to learn about including:
- Floods: https://nema.nebraska.gov/operations/march-2019-flood-information-and-help-links
- Tornados, thunderstorms, lightning and hail: https://nema.nebraska.gov/operations/spring-and-summer-severe-weather-preparedness
- Fire and Drought: https://nema.nebraska.gov/operations/fire-drought
In addition, information about the current response and recovery to the most recent disaster can be found on the NEMA website https://nema.nebraska.gov/, Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/nema.page/; twitter https://twitter.com/NEMAtweets and Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/TheNEMAtube.
Before a disaster strikes is the best time to prepare, and NEMA has a preparedness kit list available online at: https://nema.nebraska.gov/files/doc/preparedness-kit.pdf to help families get ready for the next disaster in their community.
“We want to encourage everyone to listen carefully to instructions from local officials and take the recommended protective measures to safeguard life and property when a disaster or severe weather event occurs,” Tuma said. “Stay informed about approaching severe weather. Monitor weather radios, phone apps, local news outlets and the National Weather Service. Also, make sure you have a preparedness kit that includes items like a battery-powered radio, flashlight, food, water and medicine — enough for everyone, including pets, for at least three days.”
Winners of the 2019 Poster Contest were announced at the proclamation signing. The annual contest was open to third and fourth grade students in Nebraska. County emergency managers submitted their top three posters from their counties for judging at the state level. Sever weather can result in tragic losses that preparation and planning can prevent. Through the poster contest, students from across the state encourage Nebraskans to follow weather safety precautions.
The winning and honorable mention posters will be featured in NEMA’s 2020 Severe Weather Awareness Calendar. The winners and the theme of their posters are as follows:
First Place, “Plan, Practice, Be Prepared,” Jack Baarson, 10, Bell Elementary School, Papillion, Sarpy County
Second Place, “Always be Prepared for Weather,” Ansley Throener, 9, Adams Elementary School, Lincoln, Lancaster County
Third Place, “Spring into Action,” Julie Schuler, 10, Bellevue, Cornerstone Christian School, Sarpy County
Fourth Place, “Meanwhile in Nebraska…stay away from windows, breakable tables or anything else that can be broken in a tornado,” Keri Wagoner, 10, Aurora Elementary School, Aurora, Hamilton County.
Honorable Mention students were:
Jonah Fisher, 10, Loomis School, Loomis, Phelps County
Luke Gompert, 10, North Street Academy, Center, Knox County
Kaden Haverkamp, 10, Bloomfield School, Bloomfield, Knox County
Alexis Lucas, 10, Litchfield Public School, Litchfield, Sherman County
Karina Morales, 10, Perkins County School, Grant, Perkins County
Zachary Moseley, 10, Cornerstone Christian, Bellevue, Sarpy County
Jasmine Northey, 9, Cody Elementary School, North Platte, Lincoln County
Becca Pobanz, 8, Meadowlark Elementary, Kearney, Buffalo County
Stella Smith, 9, Meadowlark Elementary, Kearney, Buffalo County
For more information on severe weather awareness, or preparing for severe weather. visit:
(click on the links at the bottom of the page)
County and regional emergency management director’s phone numbers, addresses and emails are available on the NEMA website at: https://nema.nebraska.gov/overview/county-emergency-management-directorscoordinators for media outlets who would like to localize this story.
More information, is available on the National Weather Service page: https://www.weather.gov/oax/SevereWeatherPreparedness2019
From left, fourth Place, “Meanwhile in Nebraska…stay away from windows, breakable tables or anything else that can be broken in a tornado,” Keri Wagoner, 10, Aurora Elementary School, Aurora, Hamilton County; Third Place, “Spring into Action,” Julie Schuler, 10, Bellevue, Cornerstone Christian School, Sarpy County; Second Place, “Always be Prepared for Weather,” Ansley Throener, 9, Adams Elementary School, Lincoln, Lancaster County; First Place, “Plan, Practice, Be Prepared,” Jack Baarson, 10, Bell Elementary School, Papillion, Sarpy County (displayed by Lynn Marshall, Sarpy County Emergency Management director.)