How to Prepare for Severe Weather

Monday, March 7, 2016 - 8:26am

This week is severe weather preparedness week in North Carolina. Rowan County Weather continues to celebrate by providing you with information on how you can best prepare for severe weather.

One of the most important things that can be misunderstood when severe weather approaches is the difference in all of the alerts from advisories to warnings. It's best that we start with how to understand what to prepare fore when severe weather threatens our county.

The chart below explains the difference between the color coded alerts from basic thunderstorms to the High Risk categories.

After knowing the threat you need to also prepare for the potential hazards and the action you should take.

Once you know the risk and the threat you then need to prepare for a watch or warning. If either is issued how do you prepare?

You may also want to check out this brief video on how to prepare as well.



Many times people let their guard down if the tornado threat is diminished. You have to remember if the wind threat is high straight line winds can cause just as much damage as a tornado. Look at the similarities in damage below.

Always know that when severe weather threatens our county. I am posting information as quickly as possible. What if you are driving and can't check Rowan County Weather for updates? Did you know you can get wireless alerts from the national Weather Service on your cell phone?

If you have a NOAA Weather radar make sure it is setup properly and ready to go.

More importantly Make a Plan!!! Here are a few simple steps to help you get started.

Here are a few easy steps to start your emergency communication plan:

  1. Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings.  Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials. Check with your local emergency management agency to see what is available in your area, and learn more about alerts by visiting:
  2. Discuss family/household plans for disasters that may affect your area and plan where to go. Plan together in advance so that everyone in the household understands where to go during a different type of disaster like a hurricane, tornado, or wildfire.  
  3. Collect information. Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family that includes:
  • phone (work, cell, office)
  • email
  • social media
  • medical facilities, doctors, service providers
  • school
  1. Identify information and pick an emergency meeting place. Things to consider:
  • Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection or to reunite.
  • Make sure these locations are accessible for household members with disabilities or access and functional needs.
  • If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations.

Examples of meeting places:

  • In your neighborhood: A mailbox at the end of the driveway, or a neighbor’s house.
  • Outside of your neighborhood: library, community center, place of worship, or family friend’s home.
  • Outside of your town or city: home of a relative or family friend. Make sure everyone knows the address of the meeting place and discuss ways you would get there.
  1. Share information. Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.
  2. Practice your plan. Have regular household meetings to review your emergency plans, communication plans and meeting place after a disaster, and then practice, just like you would a fire drill.

Remember Plan, Equip, Train, Exercise Know the Warning Signs. Stay Informed!

As always thank you for following Rowan County Weather!

Please let our local sponsors know that you appreciate their support of our blog. Take a moment to visit their website linked at the top of this post.