Students: Your artwork could help Austin prepare for emergencies!

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Image Courtesy: City of Austin Homeland Security and Emergency Management

AUSTIN (KXAN) — If your child is in first through fifth grade — listen up!

The City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is asking for student artwork in their design for the 2022 Emergency Preparedness Calendar.

Your child’s school or residence must be physically located within the Austin city limits in order to submit, regardless of school district.

This month is National Preparedness Month and one of the goals is to get elementary school students learning about preparedness, making and then sharing artwork on the subject.

There are four main steps to preparedness:

  1. Make a Plan
  2. Build a Kit
  3. Know your Neighbors
  4. Stay Informed


According to the contest rules here are the themes, rules, guidelines and resources directly from the City of Austin website:

Family emergency preparedness actions, severe weather conditions occurring in Central Texas and man-made disasters.

  • Examples of a family emergency preparedness action are the creation of a home or vehicle emergency kit or practicing a disaster plan, such as an evacuation plan.
  • Severe weather hazards are tornado, hail, flash flooding, lightning, excessive heat or cold and dangerous icy conditions.
  • Examples of man-made disasters are terrorism, wildfires, train derailment, chemical spills, building fires and an epidemic. Artwork should also contain a safety message about the specific hazard featured.

Note: Remember this is a 12-month calendar, severe weather occurs throughout the year. Ice storms, extreme cold and flu season are better examples of the late fall and winter months than a tornado or flash flood. Drought, excessive heat and hail work well for summer months. Man-made disasters, communication plans and emergency kits will fit in any month.

Information on personal safety during severe weather and man-made disasters are available at public education websites such as: 

National Preparedness Month
HSEM Preparedness Information
Texas Disaster Preparedness
National Weather Service – Safety Information
CDC – Disaster Information
Red Cross Disaster Preparedness

Artwork Guidelines:

  • Artwork must consist of paint, pen/pencil, pastel, collage, crayons, computer graphics or any combination of listed materials. No glitter.
  • Artwork should be created and submitted on poster board up to 12” x 18” for 3-D; drawing or construction paper that is 8.5” x 11, 12” x 24”, or 9” x 12”.
  • Fill out the submission form that contains student name, home address, telephone number, grade, school, school district and teacher name (if applicable). They will need to contact winning artist’s family as well as art teachers and principals to invite them to the awards ceremony.

Evaluation Criteria:

Artwork will be evaluated on creative visual quality and safety message content. Depending on the number of entries, a minimum of one finalist from each submitting school will be chosen in the first round. First round finalists will compete in a second round of evaluation for the front cover and 12 monthly calendar positions. There will also be a block of semi-finalist entries on the back cover.

Contest evaluation panel will be made up of City of Austin Office of Homeland Security Emergency Management and the Travis County Office of Emergency Management.


All student participants will receive a commemorative pin or certificate from City of Austin HSEM. Front Cover and Monthly winning artists will receive a trophy and NOAA weather radio at an award ceremony to be held at Austin City Hall. If in-person meetings are not being held, a virtual presentation will be offered. Winning artists are presented to the Austin City Council during an evening meeting. Semi-finalists will receive a medal with ribbon, to be presented by their art teacher during their regularly scheduled art class or school awards day.

The deadline for submitting artwork is 11:59 p.m. Friday, October 1.

All artwork must be submitted to the City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management either electronically or mailed to:

P.O. Box 1088
Austin, TX 78767

Information to submit the entry electronically can be found here.

Artwork submitted after the Oct. 1 deadline will not be accepted. Winners will be announced in October.

Original artwork that is mailed will become property of the City of Austin HSEM and will not be returned. City of Austin HSEM reserves the right to publish artwork as deemed beneficial for public education.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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