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Virginia Tornado Preparedness Day set Tuesday

Gov. Bob F. McDonnell has proclaimed Tuesday as Tornado Preparedness Day in Virginia. A statewide tornado drill will be conducted at 9:45 a.m. 

The Town of South Boston Emergency Services will conduct a siren test as part of this event.  Citizens should hear a long continuous siren blast during this exercise. This test should only last for approximately three to five minutes, according to South Boston Fire Department Deputy Chief Dwight Spangler.

The purpose of this drill is to provide Virginia schools, businesses and residents with an opportunity to test their tornado emergency plans, Spangler said. 

Virginia’s public schools are required to participate in at least one tornado drill per year.

All NWS offices serving Virginia will issue a tornado drill warning. The warning will be a tone-alert broadcast on NOAA Weather Radios that starts the coordinated statewide test of the Emergency Alert System. The EAS test will be broadcast on television, radio stations and cable systems. 

When the NOAA Weather Radios and EAS are activated for the tornado drill, participants will move to a safe area inside their building, crouch down on the floor and cover their heads. The best shelter from a tornado is a basement. If a basement is not available, go to an interior room without windows on the lowest level of the structure  like a closet, bathroom or interior hall.

For more information about preparing for tornadoes, visit