Now is the time to prepare for severe weather

Now is the time to prepare for severe weather

North Carolina has the most killer night time tornadoes of any state in the nation. As spring approaches and the weather turns warmer, strong storms could become more likely. That's why now is a good time to prepare. 

The National Weather Service has declared this Severe Weather Awareness Week for the state of North Carolina. Severe weather can strike at any time and tornadoes can have very little warning time. Wednesday, a state-wide practice tornado drill was held to remind schools and businesses what to do in the event of a tornado.

Here are some pointers for safety in the event of a tornado. If you are in a car, do not try to outrun a tornado. Instead, get out and seek shelter immediately. Once in a shelter, the basement is the safest place to be. Otherwise a closet or the bathroom is best, near the center of the home, and preferably away from windows. 

If you live in a mobile home, it is important for you to decide now where a safe shelter would be. Mobile homes are not a safe place to be in a tornado. Be sure to know how long it takes for you to get from your home to your safety shelter. If a tornado is moving towards you faster than you can get to your safety shelter, you need to get out of your mobile home and take cover in a ditch instead. 

North Carolina experiences about 30 tornadoes a year, according to the Storm Prediction Center. 82% of the tornado deaths in the last 20 years have been caused by nighttime tornadoes. 

Severe weather also includes hail, lightning and high winds. High winds can do just as much damage as a tornado. 

According to the National Weather Service, hail has caused millions of dollars of damage in our state. 

We average 40-50 thunderstorm days each year in our state. We rank in the top 10 for the number of lightning fatalities each year. The National Weather Service also reports more than 20 people have been killed by lightning in North Carolina in the last 10 years. 

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