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During the past two years, 62 tornadoes hit Virginia, killing 10 people and injuring more than 200. Some 210 homes were destroyed, and more than 1,050 were damaged. Nearly every part of the state was affected.
It’s critically important to know what to do when a tornado warning is issued. All Virginians can practice taking cover from tornadoes during the Statewide Tornado Drill, set for Tuesday, March 12, at 9:45 a.m. Every home, business, organization, school and college can hold a tornado drill. If you can’t participate at that time, then choose another time or date – the most important thing is to practice.
To start the drill March 12, the National Weather Service will send a test tornado warning at 9:45 a.m. This will trigger a tone alert and message on NOAA Weather Radio, which will prompt local radio and TV stations to broadcast a test message. (Learn more about NOAA Weather Radios and why you should have one at www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/stayinformed .)
When a tornado warning is issued for your area:
Go immediately to a safe area – usually the lowest level of your home, office or school.
Move to a windowless interior room, closet or hallway.
Take a “drop, cover and hold” position. This means crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down and covering your head with your hands.
Get instructions on how to hold a drill at www.ReadyVirginia.gov.
Registration for the Statewide Tornado Drill is open at www.ReadyVirginia.gov.