Severe weather safety: Tornado do's and dont's

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Tornadoes injure dozens in North Carolina every year (WTVD)

All it takes is a second for a tornado to rip lives apart. Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms, spawned from powerful thunderstorms.

In February, tornadoes leveled neighborhoods in Granville County. Luckily, no one was killed. According to the National Weather Service, North Carolina sees about 26 tornadoes every year with the majority of those strike in the spring. Three people die and nearly 40 are injured each year in our state alone.

The best way to avoid becoming a statistic is to be prepared and have a plan.

When a tornado warning is issued:
  • You should seek shelter in the lowest level of your home or a basement if possible. The key to safety is finding an interior room with no windows and few doors.

  • Mobile homes and cars are never safe, get out as fast as you can and seek safety in a sturdy building or shelter.

  • While inside, crouch down on the floor, covering your head to protect yourself from flying debris.

  • Take your phone with our First Alert Weather App with you or a NOAA Weather Radio so you will know when the warning is over.

  • Remember to stay in place until the warning is over.


Wednesday, March 9 is the day the National Weather Service will lead the Statewide Tornado Drill in schools and government offices. At 9:30 a.m. alarms will sound, so be prepared. It's a fantastic day to talk over a plan with your family. Make sure to practice the plan with all members of your family, even pets, so there is no confusion or chaos if a tornado should touch down in your area.

You may only have a few minutes to get to safety. It's important to be prepared.

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