FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 19, 2018
Virginia Department of Emergency Management
Contact: Jeff Caldwell
National Weather Service
Contact: Bill Sammler
RICHMOND — Virginia’s annual Statewide Tornado Drill will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, March 20 at 9:45 a.m. The Statewide Tornado Drill is a yearly opportunity to prepare Virginians for tornado emergencies.
The drill will start at approximately 9:45 a.m. with a test tornado warning sent by the National Weather Service to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios. NOAA weather radios will sound a tone alert and show a test message (or flash to indicate a message) to simulate what people would hear or see during an actual tornado warning. Local radio stations, TV stations and cable outlets will broadcast the test message via the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Participants, including individual schools and businesses, should register for the drill with VDEM. Registration information and resources are available at: https://www.vaemergency.gov/tornadodrill/.
“An actual tornado warning isn’t the time to figure out how to keep your loved ones, coworkers, friends and neighbors safe. Virginians should use the statewide tornado drill on March 20 as an opportunity to test their tornado emergency procedures and discuss preparedness efforts for these deadly and unexpected storms which can touch down in Virginia throughout the year,” said Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) State Coordinator Dr. Jeff Stern.
“Tornadoes can occur any month of the year. Last year 25 confirmed tornadoes touched down throughout the Commonwealth,” said Bill Sammler of the National Weather Service in Wakefield. “When a tornado watch is issued for your area, have a plan and know where to seek safe shelter should a tornado warning be issued.”