The 2023 North Carolina Severe Weather Preparedness Week will occur the week of March 5-11. During this week, the National Weather Service and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety are teaming up to bring this severe weather safety campaign to all of North Carolina’s residents.
With warmer weather quickly approaching, now is the time to prepare for the severe weather season. Severe weather topics covered during this safety campaign include: ways to receive severe weather alerts; staying safe when high winds, hail, and tornadoes strike; lightning safety; flash flood safety; and tips for writing a severe weather safety plan.
A statewide tornado drill will occur on Wednesday, March 8 at 9:30 a.m. Every school, business, workplace, and family across the state is strongly encouraged to participate in this drill.
It is important that all schools and businesses are aware of the following important points about the tornado drill:
• The drill will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System via the Required Monthly Test (RMT). There will not be an actual Tornado Warning issued.
• Many NOAA Weather Radio receivers (including the older Midland WR-100 radios that many schools have) do not sound an audible alert for the RMT product; instead, they may have a blinking light on the display to indicate that an RMT was received. As such, when the RMT for the statewide tornado drill is initiated, there is a chance that your NOAA Weather Radio will not sound an alarm.
• Since your NOAA Weather Radio may not sound an alarm at the time the RMT is issued, you will want to do one of the following:
o Manually turn on your NOAA Weather Radio receiver and simply listen to the audio broadcast to hear when the RMT is issued, which will mark the beginning of the statewide tornado drill.
o Simply plan to start your tornado drill on your own at 9:30 a.m.
• There will be no follow-up statements issued by the NWS to mark the end of the statewide tornado drill. It will simply be over when your group, school, business, or organization feels that you have adequately practiced your tornado shelter procedures.
• If there is actual severe weather occurring on the morning of March 8, the statewide tornado drill will be postponed. The alternate date for the drill is Friday, March 10 at 9:30 a.m.
• This drill and RMT will take the place of the usual weekly NOAA Weather Radio Alert test (RWT); therefore, there will not be a weekly radio test done between 11:00-12:00 that day.
Please direct any questions about Severe Weather Preparedness Week or the tornado drill to Trisha Palmer, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, at (864) 436-6799 or email@example.com.