Triad, NC-- What would you do? A tornado is on the ground and headed for your neighborhood. Do you have a plan?
Tornadoes have become too painfully real in our country and our own backyard. One ripped through Lexington last November and killed a little girl and her grandmother. The record number of tornadoes and deaths over the last twelve months should have you thinking through your escape routes.
But what if you're at a concert, in the hospital, or at church or other public places? You're not thinking about a natural disaster procedure at a concert or ballgame.
One disastrous weather event at a state fair recently got our attention and lawsuits claim the organizers didn't have an effective plan to warn people. Seven people died. It happened in seconds right before the band, Sugarland, was supposed to take the stage at the Indiana State Fair.
Seeing the images of that weather disaster sends chills down the spine of Winston-Salem Dash VP of Operations, Ryan Manuel.
"I thought to myself, God, what would happen if we had one in our stadium? I started calling around to talk to some stadiums and people were just starting to plan it and talk about it."
The images of so many deadly tornadoes hitting urban population centers are driving a powerful conversation to save lives.
Chris Corl, Event Services Director at the Joel Coliseum said, "If it gets to the point that we need the act to come off stage just because we may need somebody to implement an evacuation, we'll tell them to take an early intermission."
"We err on the side of caution. If there's going to be a tornado watch and something sneaking up on us, we're ready to pull the trigger immediately", said Ryan Manuel of BB&T Ballpark in Winston- Salem.
Perhaps the trigger wasn't pulled in time in Indiana, when seven people were killed and close to sixty Sugarland fans were injured.
At BB&T Ballpark, the Dash organization has detailed emergency plans, not only for getting people out but some severe weather may call for keeping people in for shelter.
The Joel Coliseum has similar emergency plans that they keep updating and re-evaluating.
"Every time something new comes up, we try to find the hole that we have that could have been exposed and just fill them all in", said Corl.
And it's one thing when your plan is just about keeping people safe. Things get far more complicated when the facility in harm's way is a hospital.
"We had a tornado actually come within a mile of one of our facilities in northern High Point, explained Jody Moore, the Emergency Director for Cone Health.
Cone Health has a whole storage unit filled with emergency equipment for different scenarios.
"We do have focus plans around tornadoes, active shooters, mass casualty situations, those are things hospitals really want to prepare for," said Moore.
The one thing that ties all disasters together is acting early enough and fast enough. Lives will be saved. It's something local television stations have a responsibility to do and sometimes, it's not popular.
Jody Moore said, "I commend you for breaking into the Duke Championship game to tell us there was a tornado warning because that's what's right. Whether who wins or loses, it's all about who's safe.
News 2 also reached out to the Greensboro Coliseum and the Greensboro Grasshoppers to see what plans they have in place. The Coliseum chose not to be a part of our story. The Greensboro Grasshoppers have evacuation and shelter plans similar to the Dash and the BB&T Ballpark.
The Red Cross provides a resource for business and schools to prepare for disasters. It's called the Red Cross Ready Rating Program.
WFMY News 2