-Information courtesy of the N.C. Emergency Management
Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed March 6-12 as Severe Weather Preparedness Week and is urging North Carolinians to prepare for severe weather that’s common during spring months.
“North Carolina is no stranger to severe weather, and while spring is typically the most active season for thunderstorms and tornadoes, they can happen any time,” Cooper said. “Help protect your family by being prepared for severe weather. Make sure you have an up-to-date emergency kit, a way to receive alerts about dangerous weather and a preparedness plan to review with everyone your household.”
Cooper also encourages North Carolinians to participate in this year’s statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, Mar. 9 at 9:30 a.m. At home or at work, that means seeking shelter on the lowest floor of your home or building, in an interior room away from doors or windows.
Tornadoes form during severe thunderstorms when winds change direction and increase in speed. These storms can produce large hail and damaging winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. A tornado can develop rapidly with little warning, so having a plan in place will allow you to respond quickly.
“I encourage everyone to participate in this year’s statewide tornado drill, at home, at work or at school. Having a plan and knowing your designated safe places will go a long way to helping you survive an actual tornado,” said Emergency Management Director Will Ray.
Test messages will be broadcast via the Emergency Alert System on radio and TV and on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 9, signaling the start of the tornado drill.
Across the state in 2021, North Carolina recorded 21 tornado touchdowns, 101 large hailstorms, 344 damaging thunderstorm wind events, 109 flood or flash flood events, which includes the remnants from Tropical Storm Fred that caused deadly flooding in Western North Carolina.
Emergency Management officials recommend the following safety tips:
Find more information on tornadoes and overall emergency preparedness online at ReadyNC.gov.