How emergency services prepare for severe weather - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

How emergency services prepare for severe weather

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WASHINGTON, N.C. - Preparing for tornadoes is a challenging task for counties across the East.

"Tornadoes are the one thing that we in emergency services fear the most," said John Pack, Beaufort County Emergency Management Coordinator.

Pack said Beaufort County uses something called hyper reach, an automated phone service that calls land lines, and even cell phones if you sign up, that are in the line of a tornado.

The system has had some problems in the past, but Pack said it worked well this time.

But some say it created more confusion than help.

"It said safety and I didn't know what they were talking about and it didn't leave any message or anything, so I didn't answer it," said Linda Watson, one of the tornado victims.

The county started using hyper reach last year because of the low cost and the effectiveness.

Watson said she rode the tornado out in her trailer because there wasn't enough time to leave.

Emergency officials say if you live in a trailer or are in your car during a tornado, you should find an area like a ditch to seek shelter in.

John Pack said people should prepare emergency kits for tornadoes similar to the ones for hurricanes. Those kits could include bottled water, non-perishable foods, and batteries.

"Now there will be even more emphasis on tornadic preparedness because it seems like they're coming to visit more often then we would like," Pack said.

There is a standby shelter in Washington for tornado victims that need to seek shelter if severe weather hits in the next few days. That shelter will be at the Snowd Branch Church of God in Washington. The address to that church is below:

3283 Voa Rd, Washington, NC 27889
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