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Davidson County now ‘Storm Ready’

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- Davidson County emergency workers say citizens are safer as personnel are now better prepared for handling severe weather emergencies.

The National Weather Service presented an award Tuesday during the county commission meeting, officially recognizing the community as "Storm Ready."

"This means Davidson County has successfully met the five requirements of the NWS to become Storm Ready," explained Nick Petro, a Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh.

Petro presented a "Storm Ready" sign and letter to Larry Morgan, Davidson County's emergency management coordinator.

"We've worked really hard on this over the last two years," Morgan said. "It's just a good recognition to have so citizens are aware. Anytime we can be there -- we're there... We do training, we've done community education, road plans and evacuation routes."

Among the preparations, Morgan described newly-installed weather radios in public buildings like schools.  He said the Emergency Alert System is one of the ways they disseminate weather information to residents.

"We've installed warning centers so we know of impending weather," Morgan added.

It's been a year since an EF2 tornado ripped through parts of Davidson County, killing two people and injuring fifteen others.

AAA Mobile Home Park on Noahtown Road in Thomasville was one of several places hit hard.

"Power lines down, trees everywhere, completely dark," recalled Ernie King, an office manager at the mobile home park. "I don't know if it will ever be the same, but we're getting things back together. Several people had to move out. Seven or eight trailers were destroyed.

King and his family made it to a nearby storm shelter during the aftermath of the tornado. He is glad to hear the county is Storm Ready.

"I know they can't always know, but it's got to help. Anything the county can do, it's a great help," King said. 

For more information about severe weather alerts in Davidson County, call (336) 242-2280.