GREENSBORO, NC -- North Carolina's winter has been unseasonably warm and quiet, but stormy spring weather is right around the corner.
This week, March 5 - 11, is North Carolina Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
The National Weather Service (NWS) Raleigh office will conduct a tornado drill at 9:30 Wednesday morning, and most Triad-area school districts will participate. Weather radio alarms might not go off automatically, so NWS recommends manually turning them on or simply planning to start the drill at your convenience.
Develop a family plan:
- Discuss with your family how to prepare and respond to the types of emergencies most likely to happen in your area.
- Identify the safest rooms in your house (typically the basement or innermost room; put as many walls between you and the outside as possible).
- Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and how you will work together as a team.
- Practice executing your plan.
Put together or update your emergency kit:
- Water - one gallon per person per day for three to seven days
- Food – non-perishable and canned food supply for three to seven days (include can opener); pet food and bowls
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio with extra batteries
- Cell phone with charger
- First aid kit and first aid book
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
- Wrench or pliers to turn off water
- Blanket or sleeping bag – one per person
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine supplies
- Extra house and car keys
- Important documents – insurance policies, copy of driver's license, Social Security card, bank account records
- Fire extinguisher
- Cash and change
- Books, games or card
Know how to get alerts:
- NC counties do not have tornado sirens, so you will have to rely on notifications through TV, radio or phone.
- NOAA Weather Radio: Think of this as a "smoke detector" for severe weather alerts. A weather radio can be purchased cheaply, and will sound in the event that a warning is issued for your area. At night, this will wake you up so your family can get to a safe place.
- Wireless Emergency Alerts: Most smart phones are enabled with Wireless Emergency Alerts. Make sure these are enabled by going into your notification settings. This will sound an alarm when a warning is issued for your area.
- WFMY News 2 App: The WFMY News 2 will send you severe weather alerts, but you need to make sure to enable these and set your specific location. See the video in this story for instructions.
- WFMY News 2: You can get the latest severe weather info by turning on WFMY News 2 on your TV. If the weather becomes truly dangerous, like a tornado warning, we'll broadcast continuously until the threat has passed.
Know the difference between a severe weather WATCH and a WARNING:
- A WATCH means severe weather is possible, but not yet happening. Keep checking up on the weather throughout the day, have a plan ready in case warnings are issued for your area.
- A WARNING means severe weather is happening in your area. Seek shelter, and get to a safe place.