NCEMD shares safety reminders amid a rare February severe weather event

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Emergency Management Department is helping with clean-up in Brunswick County after a tornado ripped through the coastal community late Monday night.

Keith Acree, NCEMD’s public information officer, said while severe weather is rare in North Carolina during the month of February it is certainly possible and stresses how important it is to have a plan in place.

“Now is the time to start thinking about what you would do in your household with your family if severe weather struck you home,” said Acree.

He suggests having a plan in place for your family, so you know where to go in the event danger is heading your way, download a weather app to get severe weather alerts, like the CBS 17 Storm Team App, or get a NOAA radio.

“You also want to make sure that you have a way to know whether watches and warnings, especially when you are sleeping. That’s why tornadoes at nighttime are so scary and so dangerous because most people are unaware and don’t know that they are coming,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director’s public information officer said.

If a tornado warning goes off, you should take shelter in an interior room on the lowest level of your home and away from doors and windows.

The state of North Carolina will recognize severe weather preparedness week March 1-7. That is also when the state tornado drill will happen.

Acree said the bottom line is to have a way to know when danger is coming your way and having a plan to execute when an alert is received.

The North Carolina Emergency Management Department is on the ground in Brunswick County assisting with recovery efforts following Monday night’s tornado.

“We are supporting the Brunswick County authorities with state resources,” said NCEMD’s Keith Acree.

Search and rescue crews will help local authorities search homes for any injured or survivors.

“At this point, the process of cleaning up the debris and helping people get started rebuilding their homes is what we will be going on the next several months,” said Acree.

He said the pandemic complicates everything and hopes to keep everyone safe during this very difficult time.

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