Local News

Statewide Tornado Drill Scheduled for Wednesday

Posted March 14, 2007 7:49 a.m. EDT

— Students across the state will participate in tornado drills Wednesday as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Gov. Mike Easley said the best thing residents can do during severe weather is to have a safety plan.

"Tornadoes can occur with little warning. I urge everyone to take the time to discuss and rehearse your family emergency plans so that when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning in your area, everyone can act quickly and take shelter calmly."

Tornadoes usually form during heavy thunderstorms when warm, moist air collides with cold air. The storms can also produce large hail and strong winds.

Mobile home residents are especially vulnerable to tornadoes. In November, a tornado touched down in Riegelwood, leaving eight people dead and damaging dozens of homes. If a tornado warning has been issued, mobile home residents should get to a pre-arranged shelter immediately.

At schools, the safest part of the building is in the hallway with no windows. Office workers are urged to get under something sturdy, like a desk or table.

Drivers who see a tornado forming or approaching should leave the car and take shelter in a ditch or some other low-lying area.

For those at home, the safest place is in a basement. If there is not one available, they should go into a hallway or closet.

Government agencies and businesses are also encouraged to participate in Wednesday's tornado drill.

Last year, the National Weather Service issued 104 tornado warnings and recorded 31 tornadoes in North Carolina.