WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The first week of March is used to raise awareness for North Carolinians who may find themselves in the path of severe weather.
The state held a tornado drill Wednesday, March 5 at 9:30 a.m. The drill is to help North Carolinians be prepared for a worst case scenario.
Among those practicing their protocol were elementary schools. Codington Elementary in Wilmington had their students file into the building's interior hallways and get down on their knees with their heads facing the wall.
"Like anything else you do in life, the more practice you do, the better prepared you are," Codington Elementary Principal Eric Pfirman said. "You always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. So we practice fire drills, tornado drills, lockdown drills fairly regularly. Hopefully it never happens, but if disaster should strike, we're prepared to deal with it."
Safety experts say education about tornado safety could be life saving. They suggest having a plan, preparing for the worst, and practicing the plan to know what to do in case of an emergency.
Experts advise having a disaster emergency kit available for immediate use. You'll want to make sure family members know where the kit is should they need to use it.
They also encourage people to know the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning.
According to the National Weather Service a tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop.
In this case, be alert to changes in the weather. Account for all family members, have your emergency kit ready, and keep a battery-powered radio tuned to weather reports.
Move cars inside, keeping car and house keys with you. If time permits, move lawn furniture and equipment inside to minimize flying debris.
A tornado warning means that a tornado has actually been sighted. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately.
Practicing your family's, business's, or school's tornado drill allows those affected to know where to go and what to do in the case of an emergency.
Experts say the best place to be during a tornado is underground. If an underground location is unavailable move to a small interior room on the lowest level of your residence.
If you find yourself stuck in a vehicle while a tornado is visible, DO NOT try to outrun it. You should find the nearest enclosed, sturdy structure, or get out of your vehicle, lie in a low area, and cover your head and neck with your hands.
For more information on tornados and common myths about tornado safety follow this link: http://bit.ly/MLD9p2
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