We are Military and just moved here to Seven Lakes N., North Carolina. I was wondering by chance has Tornado hit in this area that often. People that has lived here for 15 years said they have never seen one here in Seven Lakes, but have heard some hitting in Southern Pines.. I am scared to death of Tornado's and in our house the rooms are up stairs and the living room and kitchen is in the middle of the house so there is really no any advise for where would be a safe place to take cover just in case something like that comes this way?

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MIKE MOSS SAYS:        Candace,        First off, welcome to the area and I hope you and your family have a nice time while you're stationed here (I spent three years at Pope AFB, myself). Tornadoes are certainly not unheard of in your area, but they are quite rare, tend to affect a very small area, and the great majority fall into the "weak" classifications that tend to produce some property damage but very few injuries. Just to put some numbers on it, Moore County has reported 13 tornadoes since 1950. Two of those were F2 intensity, which is at the lower end of the "strong" category. The other 11 were classified as weak F0 or F1 storms. Those thirteen tornadoes were responsible for 3 injuries and no fatalities.

Of course, even with such a low overall risk, there is always the outside chance a strong or violent tornado could form in your area, so it is a good idea to have a pre-planned response should one approach your residence. Usually, the best idea is to get to the lowest floor in your home, in a hallway or central room that will place multiple walls between you and the outdoors if possible. Sometimes a central closet or bathroom best fits the bill for this, but of course it will depend on the particulars of your home's interior layout.

For more detailed information, I'd recommend a web search for "tornado safety," which will turn up a large number of sources, such as NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, FEMA, and the Red Cross, with lots of good ideas.



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