Severe Weather Preparedness Week is underway in North Carolina! Electric cooperatives are joining the National Weather Service and the N.C. Department of Public Safety on March 7-13, 2021, in encouraging all North Carolinians to take steps to prepare now, before potential spring and summer storms spin up.
As weather warms, North Carolinians should prepare for the possibility of impacts from thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds and other severe weather. Having a preparedness plan, an emergency kit and a way to stay alert to weather reports can help your family stay safe and better weather the storm.
Severe weather can also lead to power outages, and electric cooperatives encourage members to connect with their co-op online for the latest updates on outages and other storm information. Members should also learn the best way to report a power outage, and sign up for local weather alerts to stay informed.
State Emergency Management officials recommend the following safety tips:
- Develop a family emergency plan so each member knows what to do, where to go and who to call during an emergency.
- If thunder roars, go indoors! Lightning is close enough to strike you.
- Know where the nearest safe room is, such as a basement or interior room away from windows.
- Know the terms: WATCH means severe weather is possible. WARNING means severe weather is occurring; take shelter immediately.
- Assemble an emergency supply kit for use at home or in your vehicle. Make sure to include a 3-day supply of non-perishable food and bottled water.
- If driving when a storm hits, leave your vehicle immediately to seek shelter in a safe structure. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your vehicle, and do not stop under an overpass or bridge.
- If there is no shelter available, take cover in a low-lying flat area.
For more storm safety information and to see how electric cooperatives prepare for severe weather, visit the NC Cooperative Storm Center. During severe weather, up-to-date outage information for electric cooperatives statewide can be found at our live outage map.