3/2/2012 9:45 AM
The F2 tornado that affected our neighbors in Harrisburg and Mecklenburg County occurred the day before the official beginning of Severe Weather Awareness Week 2012. We all should take a good look at our level of preparedness at home and at work. Let's keep our neighbors who where impacted by this storm in our thoughts as we begin this season and remember that it only takes one tornado to turn a normal day into a tragic one.
Last year was one of North Carolina's most active and deadly for weather events in recent history. Governor Purdue has declared March 4 - 10 as NC's Severe Weather Awareness Week in an effort to spread the educational messages about how to prepare for various types of severe weather from tornadoes to flooding and lightning. Municipal emergency preparedness officials urge families to have safety plans for home, work, or school and practice these regularly. Periodic practice will help you respond quickly when tornadoes or severe thunder storms threaten.
Since 1957, 129 high wind events have resulted in 1 death, 3 injuries, and $2.04 million in damage. During the same period 11 tornadoes have occurred with zero deaths or injuries, and $2.6 million in damage. In 2011, the national weather service issued more than 200 tornado warnings for North Carolina and 63 tornadoes occurred, setting a new state record (over twice the state average). Last year’s storms killed 26 people in our state, injured hundreds, and caused $400 million in damages. There were over 1,200 severe thunderstorms warnings, many causing damage throughout the state and in our community.
North Carolina Emergency Management
recommends underground in a basement as the safest place during a tornado. If there is no basement, people who are at home should go to the lowest floor of the house and to an interior room such as a hallway, pantry, or closet.
School children should go to inner hallways, but stay out of gymnasiums, auditoriums, or cafeterias where there is a large roof span. Office workers should take shelter under something sturdy like a desk or a table to protect from flying debris or a collapsed roof. Everyone should stay away from windows.
Mobile home residents are especially vulnerable to damage from high winds and should go to a prearranged shelter when severe weather is predicted.
A state-wide tornado drill will take place on Wednesday, March 7 at 9:30 a.m. The tornado drill will be broadcast over NOAA Weather Radio
and will activate the State's Emergency Alert System
including local radio and television stations. Local schools and governmental agencies will be evaluated on their response to this drill and we ask that residences and businesses use that time to put their safety plans into practice.
For more information: