Tornado Drill Tuesday, March 20, at 9:45 a.m.

Posted at 4 p.m.

Don’t forget — tomorrow morning at 9:45 a.m. is the statewide tornado drill. You’ll want to practice what you would do should you face a real tornado. Your quick action is important!

At approximately 9:45 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, March 20, the National Weather Service will send a test tornado warning over NOAA Weather Radios. This test signal will sound a tone alert, show a test message or flash to indicate a message, simulating what people would hear or see during an actual tornado warning. Local radio stations, TV stations and cable outlets will also broadcast the test message via the Emergency Alert System.

To participate, start your tornado drill when you hear the test signal over NOAA Weather Radio or broadcast media.

Remember that the safest place typically is a building’s basement away from windows; if there is no basement, go to a windowless interior room such as a closet, bathroom or interior hall on the lowest level of the building.

Once you are in a safe area, crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down and cover your head with your hands.

During the Drill

  • Act as though a tornado warning has been issued for the immediate area or a tornado has been sighted near your location. Move as quickly as possible to the nearest shelter or other safe place. Use stairs to reach the lowest level of a building; avoid using elevators.
  • Make sure any visitors to your workplace know that this is a drill and not a real event; assist visitors to shelter.
  • Remind participants that when they reach their safe area during a real tornado threat, they must crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down and covering their heads with their hands.  Ensure that everyone in your group knows this.
  • After everyone has moved to a safe place, the drill coordinator can announce that the tornado has passed and the drill is over.

For more tornado safety information, visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, or the National Weather Service.

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