Schools, government agencies and businesses participated in the drills when weather radio alarms sounded at 9:15 a.m.
Weather experts say people of all ages need to know where to go when severe weather strikes.
"When you hear tornado warnings, it means move now -- not think about getting ready, but move now," said Dr. Ken Taylor of the N.C. Division of Emergency Management. North Carolina has had more than 400 tornadoes in the past 10 years. Last year, 31 tornadoes caused nearly $3 million in damage.
In April 1996, a tornado destroyed a school and leveled homes in Zebulon. No one died, but a number of people were injured.
, two children were killed and homes and a shopping center were leveled when a twister touched down in north Raleigh.
The National Weather Service predicts 37 twisters will touch down in the state this year.
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