Register Now for Statewide Tornado Drill on March 21
Posted at 1:30 p.m.
On Feb. 24, 2016, Virginia was hit by the deadliest tornado event since 1959, resulting in five fatalities and more than 45 injuries. An EF-1 tornado touched down on the Town of Waverly in Sussex County, an EF-3 tornado affected Appomattox County, and another EF-3 tornado hit the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck region.
The National Weather Service (NWS) verified that eight tornadoes struck Virginia during that storm. These storms are a stark reminder that Virginians must prepare for the possibility of tornadoes and other natural disasters.
Virginia’s annual Statewide Tornado Drill will take place Tuesday, March 21, at 9:45 a.m.
The drill will start 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.
The Statewide Tornado Drill is a yearly opportunity to prepare Virginians for tornado emergencies and to test public warning systems.
“Tornadoes can occur any month of the year, and Virginia averages 16 tornadoes each year,” said Bill Sammler of the National Weather Service. “When a tornado watch is issued for your area, know where to seek safe shelter should a tornado warning be issued.”
Show your support by registering for the tornado drill. In recent years, 1 million Virginians have signed up.
For more information about how to keep yourself, your loved ones and property safe during tornadoes, visit www.vaemergency.gov/prepare-recover/threat/tornadoes.
* If widespread severe weather threatens the commonwealth on that date, then the drill will be rescheduled for Wednesday, March 22, at 9:45 a.m.