Severe Weather Awareness Week in North Carolina, March 1 - 9, 2009

Taking a look back at 2008, North Carolina was struck by some of the most violent storms experienced in the last 10 years. North Carolina ranked fourthin the nation last year in the overall amount of severe weather experienced, falling behind Texas, Kansas and Missouri.

A number of deadly tornadic supercell thunderstorms struck the state, resulting in as many as 10 strong to violent tornadoes. Many of these tornadoes struck at night as everyone slept, catching many individuals off guard despite warning lead times averaging 20 minutes. A recent study of tornadoes found that North Carolina was ranked first in the nation with the greatest percentage of killer night time tornadoes.

“Get In, Get Down, and Cover Up” describes how you can save your life when severe storms strike.
  • Get In. Get as far inside a strong building as you can, and stay away from windows, which can easily break during strong winds or from flying debris.
  • Get Down. Get as low as possible, by going to the lowest floor of the building. A basement or underground shelter is best, if available. By crouching down, you are minimizing the possibility of being hit by flying debris.
  • Cover Up. Cover yourself (especially your head) with a pillow, blankets, or even a mattress, to further protect yourself from any flying debris. If possible, get beneath a workbench or table.