COLUMBIA, S.C. (WTOC) – This year's Severe Weather Awareness Week in South Carolina began Sunday and goes until March 5.
The week is sponsored by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service, which aims to remind people that severe storms, tornadoes and flash floods are significant hazards in South Carolina and people need to take proper safety precautions.
The annual statewide tornado drill will take place at 9 a.m. March 1. The backup date is March 3.
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, according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.
During the tornado 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 the state's emergency management agency. The test code does not activate the audio alarms on all radios.
Public schools, state and local Emergency Management, the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, and others will participate in this annual event.