Statement on Technical Issues with Today’s Statewide Tornado Drill

March 21, 2017  //  

RICHMOND—It was a drill, and this is why we practice.

This morning, the National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) teamed up to sponsor the annual Virginia statewide tornado drill. Due to technical issues at the National Weather Service, the notifications to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) radios and the Emergency Alert System that notifies citizens through television and radio stations failed to properly function. The National Weather Service is working to address the issue and ensure that appropriate system improvements are made to prevent future issues.

We appreciate those citizens and businesses who participated in the drill. Our social media feeds are full of pictures and videos of tornado drills in action. Those who volunteered and registered to participate in today’s drill, despite the technical issues regarding the notifications, will hopefully have successfully practiced what to do in the case of a tornado in their area.

We hope that this drill gives you the opportunity to fix any challenges or issues you may have found in your own tornado response plans. The National Weather Service and VDEM certainly will be working to solve the challenges we found.

For more information about how to keep your loved ones and property safe during tornadoes, visit

Virginia Department of Emergency Management
Jeff Caldwell
(804) 897-9730

National Weather Service
Bill Sammler
(757) 899-5732

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund