Virginia held its statewide tornado drill this past Tuesday at 9:45 AM in schools, businesses and organizations. This drill is a reminder that severe weather season is upon us and we all need to know what to do in the event of a tornado, especially children who may be in school when a tornado warning is issued. Here are some tornado safety tips:
Tornado Watch: Tornadoes are possible...monitor the situation
Tornado Warning: A tornado is occurring...take cover immediately
Most tornadoes move from southwest to northeast and occur between the hours of 3 PM and 9 PM. No state is immune from tornadic activity.
You always want to move away from windows and seek shelter in a basement or an interior room of your home. Flying debris is the number one cause of injuries. Tornadoes generate high winds that pick up usually harmless objects and turn them into dangerous projectiles as they are hurled at high speeds, 100 mph or higher. If you do not have a basement you should have a plan to go to a shelter when a watch is issued. If you cannot make it to the shelter then you should lie flat in a low lying area or a ditch. Don't waste time opening windows. Opening windows will not equalize the pressure in your house and protect it. Instead it wastes valuable time and puts you in greater danger putting you by a window. When tornado warnings are issued we will stay on the air until the warning expires or until the danger has passed. That is our commitment to keeping you safe and ahead of severe weather and that is why we have 'Green', 'Yellow' or 'Red' Alerts for the next three days. When we issue a Red Alert that means severe weather is likely or is occurring.