North Carolina’s 2017 Severe Weather Prepareness Week

2017 Dates: March 5-11, 2017
Statewide Tornado Drill:
March 8 at 9:30 AM

North Carolina’s winter has been unusually warm and quiet, but stormy spring weather will be right around the corner. March 5-11 is Severe Weather Preparedness Week in North Carolina.  This week the National Weather Service and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety are teaming up to bring this severe weather safety campaign to all of North Carolina’s residents.  Quiet weather days are the best opportunity to make sure you and your family know what to do during a severe weather situation, whether it is a tornado, hurricane, flooding or even a wildfire. North Carolinians should take a few moments this week to learn about severe weather safety and implement a safety plan, to help protect their homes, businesses and children.

Tornado Drills

Schools and government buildings statewide will hold tornado drills Wednesday, March 8, at 9:30 a.m. to practice their emergency plans. Test messages will be broadcast on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radios and the Emergency Alert System. All North Carolinian residents are encouraged to participate in the drill. Knowing the difference between a watch and warning is one of the most important details in severe weather planning. A Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch is issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for strong wind, large hail or tornadoes. Watches are typically issued hours before severe weather develops in the area, giving you and your family time to prepare for what may form later in the day.

Watches vs. Warnings

A Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Warning is issued when damaging and dangerous weather is on-going. A storm producing wind gusts stronger than 58 mph, hail larger than an inch in diameter, or a tornado would be considered for a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. When a warning is issued, this is when you need to put your plan into action. If a tornado is in your area, get into your tornado safety place.

Sever Weather Tips

Understand The Risks

The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family.  Check the weather forecasts regularly and visit to learn more about becoming prepared.

Prepare and Take Action

Pledge to prepare by visiting Take the first step to make sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather.  This includes building an emergency kit, filling out a family safety and communication plan, keeping important papers in a safe place, and having multiple sources for weather alerts.

Be an Example

Once you have taken action, get involved, and share your story with your family and friends.  Studies show that many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know that they are safe.  This is an important trend because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others.

Daily Events

The National Weather Service will be highlighting ways individuals can prepare for the severe weather season by providing events and resources to help you take action.

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