Virginia Tech will participate in the Commonwealth of Virginia's statewide tornado drill scheduled for 9:45 a.m. March 17.

The Office of Emergency Management encourages members of the Virginia Tech community to organize their own drill and practice the actions required in the event of a tornado.

“Knowing what to do when a tornado warning is issued for your area can save your life,” said Michael J. Mulhare, director of the Office of Emergency Management. “Since 1950, nearly 30 people have been killed by tornadoes in Virginia and more than 800 injured. Tornadoes have hit every part of the commonwealth, including Montgomery County.”

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management recommends designating one or more people in your department or organization to coordinate the drill. Before the start of the drill, all participants should be aware that a tornado drill is taking place and understand what is expected of them. Each participant should take some time to consider the safest locations in areas and buildings they frequent. 

At 9:45 a.m., the drill coordinators should announce the start of the drill to all participants. At this time, participants should act as they would if a real tornado touched down nearby. The drill coordinator will announce when there is an “all clear” and the drill is over. 

After the drill, the coordinator and participants should reflect on the effectiveness of their current tornado procedures and determine if any changes need to be incorporated. For additional information on conducting your own drill, see the Virginia Department of Emergency Management's online guidance on drill participation or call the Virginia Tech Office of Emergency Management at 540-231-2438.

For more information on what to do before, during, and after a tornado, visit the Office of Emergency Management's tornado preparedness guide.

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