We hope everyone was able to participate in this morning’s Statewide Tornado Drill – I know several City of Norfolk departments as well as CHKD, Old Dominion University and Naval Station Norfolk did! Great job!! Now let’s talk about it.
Alert / Notification: In a real situation, there are multiple means by which the community will be alerted. One way the City of Norfolk does not alert the community is warning sirens! (though partners such as Naval Station Norfolk, Old Dominion University, and nearby Newport News Ship Yard do). Instead, you should expect an alert on your NOAA All-Hazards radio as well as a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) message to your cell phone from the National Weather Service. The Norfolk Emergency Operations Center facilitates an additional message through Norfolk Alert (hitting landlines and subscribers), and an EAS (Emergency Alert System) message is also disseminated on television and radio.
Tornado Warning: When a Tornado WARNING is received, TAKE ACTION! The alert message will likely read as follows: “A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. There is imminent danger to life and property. Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris”. Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service in Wakefield, and as such warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by a tornado identified by a forecaster on Radar or by a trained spotter/law enforcement who is watching the storm.
When taking shelter, be sure to assist those around you who may have various needs!
Take-away’s from today’s Statewide Tornado Drill:
- Register for Norfolk Alert! This can be done by clicking here or calling our Norfolk Cares Call Center at 664-6510.
- Raise awareness with staff/family about where to go during a Tornado Warning. The Storm Prediction Center has an excellent listing of FAQ’s.
- Resources exist to talk with our children about tornado safety. Sesame Street has a wonderful workbook to frame the conversation.
- If a tornado did touch down and folks around you were injured, would you be able to help? YOU are the help until help arrives! Free training is available through the Norfolk Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) as well as Norfolk Fire-Rescue’s Hands-Only CPR and also ask about the “Stop The Bleed” program!
- Have a plan! What if your business is impacted by a tornado? Does you have a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)? If not, there are some great state and federal resources to get started!
As always, feel free to contact us at (757) 441-5600 with any questions!
Director, Norfolk EOC