How to Conduct a Tornado Drill

Designate one or more people in your family or business to coordinate your drill and have them follow the steps below.

Before the drill

Before the drill, remind your group that you are having a tornado drill. Make sure all participants understand what will take place during the drill and that they know where to go during a tornado.

During the drill

  • Announce the start of the drill by using a public address system or having designated volunteers alert the members of your group.  Do this by going room to room, floor by floor of your building.
  • Everyone should act as though a tornado warning has been issued for the immediate area or a tornado has been sighted near the building.  They should move as quickly as possible to the nearest safe place.  Use stairs to reach the lowest level of a building; avoid using elevators.
  • Remind participants that when they reach their safe area during a real tornado threat, they must crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down and covering their heads with their hands.  Ensure that everyone in your group knows this.
  • After everyone has moved to a safe place, the drill coordinator can announce that the tornado has passed and the drill is over.

After the drill

The drill coordinator should document any changes necessary in the procedure.

  • Do you need more safe areas?
  • Are safe areas uncluttered and accessible?
  • Do employees know the fastest routes to safe areas?
  • Does your alert system work? Did everyone know the drill had started?

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund