National Weather Service & VDEM To Hold Statewide Tornado Drill Next Week

Published 03/05 2014 12:29PM

Updated 03/05 2014 05:00PM

RICHMOND, VA (WHAG) - As we are winding down winter and looking forward towards severe weather season, now is time time for you and your family to prepare for severe weather, including tornadoes.

Governor Terry Mcauliffe has proclaimed Tuesday March 11th, 2014 as Tornado Preparedness Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia. At 9:45 AM EDT on Tuesday, the National Weather Service Forecast Offices across Virginia, including Baltimore/Washington, D.C. will conduct a Statewide Tornado Drill.

All National Weather Service Offices serving Virginia will issue Drill Tornado Messages at that time. The purpose of this Drill is to provide Schools, Businesses and Residents of the Commonwealth with the opportunity to activate and test their emergency plans for Tornadoes.

The Statewide Tornado Drill will utilize a Test Tornado Warning, just like the Statewide Drill in 2013.  The National Weather Service will issue a Test Tornado Warning under the Standard Tornado Warning Product, and will transmit the test warning as it normally would for a real tornado event.  The Emergency Alert System (WAS) will also be activated as if the drill were an actual tornado warning, but the messages will be clearly marked with "THIS IS A TEST TORNADO WARNING..." Issuing the Statewide Drill through the channels that a normal Tornado Warning is issues will allow local television/cable outlets as well as NOAA Weather Radio to relay the activation and termination of the Statewide Tornado Drill.

If severe weather is anticipated or is occurring on Tuesday March 11th, the Tornado Drill will be postponed until Thursday March 13th at 9:45 AM EDT.

Stay with WHAG: Your Local Weather Leader when severe weather threatens, we'll keep you ahead of the storm.

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