Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management urges residents to practice tornado safety

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management is urging residents to prepare for inclement weather that could arise with little or no warning this spring.

March 6-12 is Storm Preparedness Week in North Carolina. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management is urging residents to participate in the annual statewide tornado drill on March 9 to practice their contingency plan for severe weather in our state.

“Spring is right around the corner, but so is the potential for severe weather,” said Division Chief Robert Graham, Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s assistant director of emergency management. “Severe thunderstorms can develop quickly and include a variety of weather conditions such as hail, flash floods and tornadoes. The best way to prepare for quick action is to have a family emergency plan, assemble a kit of supplies and stay alert by listening to radio, television, or a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) radio for information about severe weather.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management and the Charlotte Fire Department will participate in the statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, March 9 at 9:30 a.m. at Charlotte Fire Headquarters. The National Weather Service (NWS) will broadcast the exercise on NOAA weather radio stations and the Emergency Alert System.

“All Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents, businesses and organizations are encouraged to participate in the exercise. Knowing what to do and practicing what to do is part of preparing for severe weather,” said the Chief of Charlotte Fire Department, Reginald Johnson. “The time you take now to prepare will make all the difference when disaster strikes.”

In 2021, the NWS issued 194 tornado warnings for North Carolina and recorded 21 tornadoes. There were 109 floods across the state. Additionally, the NWS issued 1,114 severe thunderstorm warnings and recorded 101 significant hail events and 344 damaging thunderstorm wind events.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg emergency management officials recommend having a family emergency plan in place, so everyone knows where to go, who to call and what to do in the event of a disaster. Authorities also recommend staying alert by listening to weather radios that broadcast National Weather Service alerts.

Emergency officials recommend that residents use the following safety tips:

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