Monday, March 4, 2024

Governor Cooper Reminds North Carolinians to Prepare and Practice for Severe Weather March 3-9 is Severe Weather Preparedness Week

Mar 4, 2024

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March 3-9 is Severe Weather Preparedness Week and Governor Roy Cooper is joining North Carolina Emergency Management in urging North Carolinians to be prepared should severe weather impact your community.

“Spring is the most active time of the year for tornadoes and thunderstorms in our state, and North Carolinians should be ready for severe weather to hit at any time,” said Governor Cooper. “Residents can stay prepared by listening to weather reports and emergency announcements from trusted officials, creating a preparedness plan and updating their emergency kits.”

Governor Cooper is also encouraging North Carolinians to participate in this year’s statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, March 6 at 9:30 a.m. by going to the lowest floor of the building you’re in and finding the most interior room. Know where the safe place is in your home or work to withstand severe weather.

Tornadoes form during severe thunderstorms when winds change direction and increase in speed. These storms can produce large hail and damaging winds that can reach 300 miles per hour.

“A tornado can develop rapidly with little warning, which is why we encourage people to have a plan in place so you can respond quickly,” said Will Ray, Director of North Carolina Emergency Management. “By participating in the statewide tornado drill you are ensuring that you, your family, and your coworkers know where to go and what to do in the event of a tornado, or other severe weather to protect your life.”

Test messages will be broadcast via the Emergency Alert System on radio and TV and on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios when the drill begins.

Across the state in 2023, North Carolina recorded 24 tornado touchdowns across the state, and 127 large hail events, 844 damaging thunderstorm wind events, and 139 flood or flash flood events.

Emergency Management officials recommend the following safety tips:

  • Develop a family emergency plan so each member knows what to do, where to go and who to call during an emergency.
  • If thunder roars, go indoors! Lightning is close enough to strike you.
  • Know where the nearest safe room is, such as a basement or interior room away from windows.
  • Know the terms: WATCH means severe weather is possible. WARNING means severe weather is occurring; take shelter immediately.
  • Assemble an emergency supply kit for use at home or in your vehicle. Make sure to include a 3-day supply of non-perishable food and bottled water.
  • If driving, leave your vehicle immediately to seek shelter in a safe structure. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your vehicle and do not stop under an overpass or bridge.
  • If there is no shelter available, take cover in a low-lying flat area.

To learn more about how you, your family, or your business can become more resilient and prepared for all-hazards, visit