CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The National Weather Service is conducting a statewide tornado drill on the first Wednesday of March.
North Carolina’s annual statewide tornado drill for 2018 will take place on Wednesday, March 7, at 9:30 a.m. using EAS and NOAA weather radios.
The annual drill is a way for the public to learn simple precautions that could save lives and test communication equipment.
"If each North Carolina resident would take a few moments this week to learn about severe weather safety and implement a safety plan, then we would all be better off when severe thunderstorms and tornadoes inevitably strike our state and the likelihood of injury and fatalities caused by severe weather could be minimized," the NWS said in a statement on its website.
Every school, business, work place, and family across the state is strongly encouraged to participate in the statewide tornado drill.
Here are some key points to remember about the 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.
- This drill and RMT will take the place of the usual weekly NOAA Weather Radio Alert test (RWT). That is, there will not be a weekly radio test done between 11 AM and Noon on that day.
- Most NOAA Weather Radio receivers (including the Midland WR-100 that many schools have) do not sound an audible alert for the RMT product, but instead, 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 at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, there's a good 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: simply plan to start your tornado drill own your own at 9:30 AM; or, you can manually turn on your NOAA Weather Radio receiver around 9:25 AM, and simply listen to the audio broadcast to hear when the RMT is issued, which will mark the beginning of the statewide tornado drill.
- There will be no followup statements issued by the NWS to mark the end of the statewide tornado drill. It will simply be over when your group, school, business, organization, or family feel that you have adequately practiced your tornado shelter procedures.
- If there is actual severe weather occurring on the morning of March 7, 2018, the statewide tornado drill will be postponed. The alternate date for the drill is Friday, March 9, 2018 at 9:30 AM EST.