Charlotte-Mecklenburg Preparathon! Tornado Drill

Here in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, spring often brings violent tornadoes along with budding leaves and new flowers. That’s why Charlotte-Mecklenburg County is conducting their PrepareAthon! Drill for Tornado Safety on Wednesday, March 8. While everyone knows it’s important to prepare, this drill will ensure that all area residents know exactly what to do in the event of a tornado. This community-wide drill is being held in coordination with North Carolina’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week and is supported by North Carolina Emergency Management and FEMA. Here’s how to participate:


Before the Drill:

  • Register for the CharMeck Alerts emergency notification system and choose what type of alerts you want to receive and how you will be notified
  • Install a NOAA Weather Radio, if you haven’t already done so. Make sure it’s programmed to receive alerts for Mecklenburg County and check that it has a battery back-up
  • Review your severe weather emergency plan with your organization or family and encourage them to learn how to prepare for tornadoes.
  • Make sure everyone knows where tornado shelter areas are located. Basements and interior rooms or hallways on the lowest floor are safest
  • Plan to take a #SafePlaceSelfie


Around 9:30 a.m. the Day of the Drill:

  • Monitor your NOAA Weather Radio for the message from the National Weather Service. This is your cue to begin the drill
  • If you are conducting the drill at your workplace, announce the drill using your building’s notification system
  • Follow the steps in your emergency plan
  • Everyone should proceed to their tornado shelter area
    • Use stairs instead of elevators
  • Crouch low, sitting or kneeling against a wall and covering head with hands

  • Take a photo and share on your social media platforms using #SafePlaceSelfie


After the Drill:

  • Evaluate the drill and document any issues. Modify your plan accordingly
  • Report your drill in WebEOC

If you are an organization leader or preparedness coordinator, follow these links:

Prepare Your Organization for a Tornado playbook

Prepare your Organization for a Flood playbook