Watch or warning

Published 6:37 pm Saturday, March 3, 2012

Last year, 30 tornadoes touched down across North Carolina in one day. Twenty-four people were killed, hundreds injured. Though that day was April 16, 2011, historically March, May, and November have been the deadliest tornado months for the state.

Give us a hurricane and we know what to do—what supplies to buy, which areas are prone to flooding, how much higher we need to raise the stuff under the house to keep it from floating away.

Tornadoes are a different matter. When it comes to a tornado bearing down on you there’s not a whole lot of time to prepare, so it’s essential that we know what to do before the watches and warnings are issued.

If you are inside a building, stay inside.

Basements are the best place to wait out a tornado. If no basement is available, find an interior room—a hallway, a closet, a bathroom.

Stay away from windows, and if possible, take shelter under a sturdy piece of furniture to shield you from flying debris.

If you happen to be outside or in a car, try to find shelter immediately. Cars are not a reliable place to shelter from a tornado, and it’s not always possible to outrun one. They can move quickly and aren’t limited to sticking to the road, unlike us. If there are no other options, find a low place, like a ditch, and lay flat until the threat has passed.

As we usher in a new Spring, be aware the weather, though lovely, could be temperamental.

Now is a good time to brush up on your family disaster plan and get an emergency supply kit together.

Tornado watch or tornado warning, it’s best to be prepared.