Updated 03/05/2013 11:46 AM
North Carolina to hold statewide tornado drill
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GREENSBORO -- As Severe Weather Awareness Week continues, emergency services officials scheduled a statewide tornado drill Wednesday. They said it was an opportunity for people to review and practice their plans without the pressure of a real severe weather event.
When the alert sounds on weather radios at 9 a.m., people will be told that the tornado warning is only a drill but otherwise it's going to sound like a real emergency and that's the idea.
"The best thing to do is take that opportunity to practice where you're going to go when there is a tornado warning," said Don Campbell, the emergency management director for Guilford County. "The best way to look at that is put as many walls between you and the outside as possible, as low to the ground as possible."
If you practice now, you'll be less likely to scramble if and when the tornado warning is real.
"Studies show that people who practice their tornado drills are much more able to get into those safe locations much quicker because you're not having to think about it,” said Campbell. “You're reacting on something you've trained and practice on in the past."
The challenge in North Carolina is that tornadoes develop quickly.
"So, when we issue a tornado warning you really normally only have minutes to seconds to be able to be able to activate and go to your safe location," Campbell said.
So make sure your safe location is free of clutter.
"That you can actually still get into your pantry or your bathroom or wherever your safe location is in your home," said Campbell.
Campbell said if 9 a.m. Wednesday wasn't the best time to practice, people should choose a time that works.
"Get your family together that night before you go to bed and do a quick practice yourself,” he said. “It'll definitely help when the real thing happens."