— press release from Brian Short, director Henderson-Vance County Emergency Operations
With pandemic lock downs and a cold, wet winter, most of us are looking forward to spring and warmer weather. However, with spring comes the threat of severe thunderstorms with potential lightning, tornadoes and flash flooding – all of which can develop so rapidly that an advance warning may be impossible.
A great activity to take on while still indoors awaiting the arrival of spring is to get prepared by updating your family emergency plan and supply kit so you are ready should severe weather strike.
To encourage planning and preparation for severe weather, March 7-13, 2021 is Severe Weather Preparedness Week in North Carolina and serves as a reminder to all, the importance of planning for unexpected thunderstorms and tornadoes that could impact our state.
Government agencies, businesses and schools are encouraged participate in the annual statewide tornado drill Wednesday, March 10th, at 9:30 a.m. While exercising social distancing and mask wearing we encourage everyone to practice their severe weather safety plan and seek shelter on the lowest floor of your building and away from windows. Practicing now will allow you to respond quickly when severe weather heads your way.
All residents should take this opportunity to practice what to do in the event that a severe thunderstorm or tornado takes place. Tornadoes and flash floods can develop at a moment’s notice; take time now to prepare and keep you and your loved ones safe.
Keep your home a safe haven this severe weather season and use the following safety tips:
Make Preparation a Priority
When it comes to severe weather, preparation is critical. The ability to recognize threatening conditions, develop a plan and act could help save your life. Thunderstorms include a variety of weather conditions such as tornadoes, straight-line winds, flash floods and hail; this assortment proves the importance of being ready for anything, anytime, anywhere.
North Carolina experiences on average 40 to 50 thunderstorm days per year, but about 10 percent are severe – producing hail at least an inch in diameter, winds of 58 mph or produces a tornado. Lightning is also a danger linked with severe storms and it can strike as far as 10 miles away from the rain area in a thunderstorm. If the sky looks threatening, residents should take shelter immediately and remember, if thunder roars, go indoors! Tornadoes form from powerful thunderstorms and appear as funnel-shaped clouds that reach from a thunderstorm to the ground with winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Although thunderstorms affect a smaller area than a hurricane or winter storm, if a tornado is produced, damage paths could be more than one-mile-wide and 50 miles long.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service have teamed to encourage residents to plan and prepare. Due to the variety of severe weather that can take place during spring season, emergency officials recommend the following safety tips:
Make sure you know where to go when disaster strikes.
Find more information on tornadoes, severe storms and emergency preparedness by visiting the ReadyNC website, www.ReadyNC.org.
Vance County, take time now to prepare; it could make all the difference.