Plan to Participate in the March 17 Statewide Tornado Drill

Posted at 9:45 a.m.

2015 Tornado Drill

Tornadoes can happen anywhere and at any time of year, making preparedness for these potentially deadly storms even more important. For example, Fairfax County had a couple of tornado watches and tornado warnings in 2014.

To be better prepared, businesses and organizations, schools and colleges, and families and individuals can practice taking cover from tornadoes by participating in the annual Statewide Tornado Drill Tuesday, March 17, at 9:45 a.m.

Registration for the tornado drill is not necessary, but you can learn more and show your support by signing up at www.ReadyVirginia.gov.

The annual drill is a joint effort of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service (NWS).

To start the tornado drill at 9:45 a.m. on March 17, the NWS will send a test tornado warning that will trigger a tone alert and broadcast message on NOAA Weather Radio. The message will be picked up by TV and radio broadcasts, simulating what listeners will hear during an actual tornado warning.

“Receiving a tornado warning as quickly as possible can make the difference between life and death,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist. “One of the fastest ways for people to get a tornado warning is by NOAA Weather Radio, which provides warning information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. However, cellphone apps such as Ready Virginia are also available that quickly provide critical warning information at little or no cost. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) also provide tornado and flash flood warnings via text message to any compatible cell within the warning area, even if you are visiting or just traveling through an affected area.”

For help in conducting a tornado drill and to register for next week’s statewide drill, go to www.ReadyVirginia.gov.

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About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

2 responses to “Plan to Participate in the March 17 Statewide Tornado Drill”

  1. jCEANb says :

    The registration does not indicate the value/purpose of registration, nor scope of participation nor if any additional feedback or reporting is expected.

    The survey has a couple of structural errors:
    Q1 indicates ‘select all’ but prevents progress with misleading “You failed to answer all questions on this page” if you check more than one box of question 1.
    Q7? asks what other sites you have visited, with no constraint. {Reasonably, ‘disaster preparedness/response’, ‘Va’, ‘Federal’, ‘local’, or other desired useful limitations on reporting our browsing.