To prepare our residents for tornado threats and test emergency alert systems, the City of Norfolk’s Department of Emergency Preparedness and Response (DEPR) will be participating in an annual statewide tornado drill taking place tomorrow, Tuesday, March 7 along with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.
The drill will start at approximately 9:45 a.m. with a test tornado warning sent in the form of a required monthly test by the National Weather Service to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios and local broadcasters.
In addition, we will conduct our required monthly Wireless Emergency Alert test for the entire city. Wireless Emergency Alerts are sent through the FEMA Integrated Public Alert & Warning System to wireless mobile devices. Examples of Wireless Emergency Alerts are Amber Alerts and Weather Warnings. For more information, visit: https://www.norfolk.gov/5522/IPAWS-Wireless-Emergency-Alerts
In addition to the tornado drill, we encourage you to take the following steps to keep you and your family safe in the event of a tornado:
- Before a tornado hits, develop a plan by identifying safe rooms at home or work you and your family can take shelter in when a tornado warning is issued. Pay attention to danger signs in the weather, such as a dark, greenish sky, large hail, dark, low-lying cloud formations or rotations, or a loud roar, similar to the sound of a freight train. Lastly, create an emergency communication plan for your family and pay attention to local and social media for the latest information on weather conditions.
- During a tornado, follow the same steps listed above. If you live in a mobile home, evacuate immediately and go to the closest building or storm shelter. If you are unable to find shelter, get into a vehicle and buckle your seatbelt. Put your head down below the window and cover your head with your hands. If there is no car or shelter, try to find a ditch or area lower than the ground to lie down in. You will be safer in a low, flat location than you would be under a bridge or underpass.
- Review Team Norfolk Tornado Hazard-Specific Annex at https://www.norfolk.gov/4064/Team-Norfolk-Plans
For more information on disaster preparedness, visit www.norfolk.gov/3987/Be-Prepared.