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Save the date — March 11 is the Virginia’s Statewide Tornado Drill

Registration is now open for the March 11 Statewide Tornado Drill. Businesses and organizations, schools and colleges, and families and individuals can practice taking cover from tornadoes by participating in this annual safety exercise, set for 9:45 a.m.

“During the past three years, 67 twisters struck Virginia,” said Brett Burdick, acting state coordinator for emergency management. “April 2011 was particularly dangerous when ten people died and more than 100 were injured. Tornadoes are common in Virginia. In fact, three struck southeast Virginia Jan. 11, so it is essential that everyone knows what to do when a tornado warning is issued.”

The annual drill is a joint effort of the National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. To start the drill, at approximately 9:45 a.m., a test tornado warning will be sent by the NWS to NOAA Weather Radios.  These radios will sound a tone alert and show a message (or flash to indicate a message) to simulate what people will hear or see during an actual tornado warning. The test message then will be broadcast by many local radio and TV stations.

Registration for the Statewide Tornado Drill is not required, but residents are encouraged to sign up to show their support. Learn more about tornado safety, how to hold a drill, and how to register for the drill at www.ReadyVirginia.gov.

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