Tornado Drill Reminder… What Would You Do If You Were In a Real Tornado?

Posted at 9 a.m.

Tornado Drill March 2017

Virginia’s Statewide Tornado Drill is this morning, Tuesday, March 21, at 9:45 a.m.

The annual drill is an opportunity to take a moment and think about what you would do during a real tornado — and actually practice those actions.

Do you know what you should do?

If you are in a structure such as your residence, a small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center or high-rise building:

  • Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Put on sturdy shoes.
  • Do not open windows.

If you are in a manufactured home or office:

  • Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.

If you are not in a sturdy building, possible actions include:

  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
  • Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
  • Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
  • In all situations, however:
    • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
    • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
    • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

Learn more about tornadoes and tornado safety from Ready.gov.

Be sure to participate in this morning’s drill — and please register your participation.

After the drill is complete, be sure to register for Fairfax Alerts emergency notifications to your smartphone and email inbox. You can select specialized categories of alerts — be sure to sign up for severe weather alerts!

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About Fairfax County Emergency Information

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

One response to “Tornado Drill Reminder… What Would You Do If You Were In a Real Tornado?”

  1. hurleyja@aol.com says :

    Why don’t we have warning sirens in the County ?

    John A. Hurley 9001 Cherrytree Drive 22309