State and local officials who remember the drought that gripped North Carolina just four years ago are resolved to be better prepared this time. Most of North Carolina and Virginia are classified as in moderate drought, with severe drought in 21 counties of central North Carolina. Raleigh has kept its residents and those of other towns it supplies on mandatory water use restrictions since November. Other water service districts have asked their customers to adhere to voluntary restrictions. Governor Mike Easley reiterated the call this week for residents statewide to conserve water.