Statewide tornado drill planned for Virginia on Tuesday, March 7

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 4:35 PM EST
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(WDBJ) - Everyone throughout the Commonwealth is strongly encouraged to participate in a statewide tornado drill next week.

Every school, business, workplace and family should be prepared at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, March 7 by following the following guidelines relayed by the City of Lynchburg:

“► The drill will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System via the Required Monthly Test (RMT). There WILL NOT be an actual Tornado Warning issued.

► Most NOAA Weather Radios DO NOT sound an audible alert for the Required Monthly Test; instead, may have a blinking light on the display to indicate that an RMT was received. As such, when the RMT for the statewide tornado drill is initiated at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, there is a good chance your NOAA Weather Radio will not automatically sound an alarm.

► Since your NOAA Weather Radio may not sound an alarm at the time the RMT is issued, you will want to do one of the following:

► You can turn your radio on to listen to the broadcast by 9:40 am and when you hear the alert, simply start your tornado drill at 9:45 a.m.

► If you do not have a NOAA Weather Radio, simply start your drill and enact your safety plan at 9:45 a.m.

► Remind your group 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. After everyone has moved to a safe place, the drill coordinator can announce that the tornado has passed and the drill is over.

► There will be no follow-up statements issued by the NWS to mark the end of the statewide tornado drill. It will simply be over when your group, school, business, organization or family feel you have adequately practiced your tornado shelter procedures.

► After the drill is over, take note of anything that could be improved upon. Do you need more safe areas? Are safe areas uncluttered and accessible? Did everyone know the fastest routes to safe areas?

► If there is actual severe weather occurring on the morning of March 7, 2023, the statewide tornado drill will be postponed. The alternate date for the drill is Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 9:45 a.m. EST.”

There are around 15-20 tornadoes that hit Virginia each year on average.