McCrory puts rescue teams on standby in preparation for severe weather

- Gov. McCrory has notified the state’s seven Urban Search & Rescue Teams and seven hazardous materials Regional Response Teams to be on standby in preparation for severe weather that is predicted to roll across the state on Wednesday.

Meteorologists Tuesday warned that portions of North Carolina will see severe thunderstorms Wednesday.

Wednesday's forecast is calling for damaging wind gusts of 70+ miles per hour, up to 1-2” hail and the possibility of one or more tornadoes across much of the central and eastern parts of the state.

“I urge all North Carolinians today to review their severe weather and tornado safety plans for home, work and school,” said Governor McCrory in a written statement, released on Tuesday. “Stay tuned to your local media, pay close attention to the weather and know where to go and how to stay safe. Take cover immediately if advised to do so.”

Strong thunderstorms are expected to move across central North Carolina Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Most of the state is under a slight risk for severe weather meaning that the storms will likely be short-lived and not widespread.

However, areas east of U.S. 1 will have the greatest risk for numerous severe storms that are more likely to be widespread and intense.

McCrory encouraged schools and universities across the Piedmont and eastern regions to immediately review their severe weather safety plans and tornado sheltering procedures.

North Carolina Emergency Management is reminding people to:

• Know the terms: WATCH means Be Prepared: a tornado is possible. WARNING means Take Action: a tornado has been spotted; take shelter immediately.
• Know where the nearest safe room is.
     o Home – go to the basement under the stairs or to an interior room on the lowest floor, away from windows.
     o Schools, hospitals, offices – go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor. Avoid long corridors with windows and large open areas with free span roofs like gyms.
     o High rise buildings – go to an interior hallway, bathroom or closet and stay away from windows.
     o Modular homes and vehicles – leave immediately and go to a sturdy building.
• Never try to outrun a tornado in your vehicle. Do not stop under an overpass or a bridge.
• If you are outdoors, and there is no shelter available, take cover in a low-lying flat area. Watch out for flying debris.
Emergency management officials cautioned that once the storm has passed, danger still lingers. After the storm, be sure to:
• Wear sturdy shoes, long sleeves and gloves when walking on or near debris, and be aware of exposed nails and broken glass.
• Be aware of damaged power or gas lines and electrical systems that may cause fires, electrocution or explosions.


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