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Dorchester County to Participate in Statewide Tornado Drill

Post Date:03/11/2019 9:30 AM

Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed March 10 – 16 as Severe Weather and Flood Safety Week in South Carolina.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) and the National Weather Service jointly sponsor the week to promote awareness of the hazards associated with severe weather, including tornadoes and floods, and the procedures that help keep people safe.

As part of Severe Weather Week, Dorchester County will be participating in the statewide tornado drill. Dorchester County also encourages municipalities, schools, businesses, non-profit’s, faith-based organizations, and the public to participate.

The drill will be conducted at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, March 13. The purpose of the drill is to test communication systems, safety procedures, mitigation processes, etc.

The drill will be conducted in close coordination with the South Carolina Broadcasters Association. South Carolina has received a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission to use the Tornado Warning product on NOAA tone-alert weather radio when the drill is conducted. During the drill, the National Weather Service will use a real-event code, TOR. The “TOR” code will activate tone-alert weather radios that are set to receive tornado warnings, and those radios will broadcast the exercise message.

According to data provided by the State Climatology Office, from 1955 to 2016, Dorchester County has experienced 287 severe wind events and 78 events involving severe hail.  From 1950 to 2016, Dorchester County has experienced 17 tornadoes.

On average, Americans have only nine minutes to seek shelter once a tornado warning has been issued by the National Weather Service.

The public is strongly encouraged to have a tornado shelter identified in their homes and places of business.  Shelter areas are generally on the first floor of a building and in an interior room away from windows and exterior walls.

For more information on how to prepare for severe weather please visit https://www.ready.gov/severe-weather.