NC schools to take part in tornado drill
Posted March 5, 2014
Fayetteville, N.C. — Despite wintry precipitation being the chief weather concern in recent weeks, spring-like temperatures – and the storms that normally go with them – will arrive in the Triangle soon.
To prepare for the change in season, schools across North Carolina will hold tornado drills Wednesday morning as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week.
Students at most schools will take part in preparedness drills at 9:30 a.m. In Cumberland County, a county-wide meeting on Wednesday will push the drill to Thursday morning.
Less than two weeks ago, a line of strong thunderstorms spawned at least three tornadoes as it raced through central and eastern North Carolina.
The National Weather Service confirmed that two EF0 tornadoes touched down in Robeson County on Feb. 21. A third twister, an EF1, also touched down in Wayne County, leaving behind minor damage.
State emergency officials recommend that families have safety plans for home, work or school and discuss and rehearse the plans when the National Weather Service issues a storm warning in their area.
March, May and November are the deadliest months for tornadoes in the state, but residents should be equally prepared for other forms of severe weather, too, such as lightning, floods or hail.
North Carolina Emergency Management recommends the following safety tips:
- During severe weather, listen to local radio, television, a weather channel or a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration radio for information.
- Know the terms. A tornado watch means a tornado is possible. A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted and that shelter should be taken immediately.
- At home, take shelter in a basement or the lowest floor of the house in an interior room, such as a hallway, pantry or closet. Stay away from windows.
- In school, go to inner hallways, but stay out of rooms where there is a large roof span, such as gymnasiums, auditoriums or cafeterias.
- In the office, take shelter under something sturdy, such as a desk or a table to protect from flying debris or a collapsed roof.
- Mobile homes are especially vulnerable to high winds. Residents should go to a prearranged shelter when severe weather is predicted.
- In the car, drivers who see a tornado forming or approaching should leave the car immediately and take shelter in a low-lying area. Tornadoes can easily blow vehicles off a road and many people have been killed while trying to outrun a tornado.
- On foot or bicycle, go to a safe place immediately to avoid falling trees, downed power lines or lightning. Inside a sturdy building is best. Lying flat in a ditch or low area may also offer protection, but beware of possible flash flooding and flying debris.
- Preparation for any type of severe weather also means having a family disaster plan and an emergency supply kit assembled and in a location that is easy to access during an emergency. More information is available at www.ReadyNC.org.