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Annual Virginia tornado drill to be held statewide March 20

The drill will take place at 9:45 a.m.

Credit: Virginia Department of Emergency Management
Credit: Virginia Department of Emergency Management

ROANOKE, Va. – Virginia's annual statewide tornado drill will take place Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. 

The drill is intended to be a yearly opportunity for Virginians to prepare for tornado emergencies.

At approximately 9:45 a.m., a test tornado warning will be sent by the National Weather Service to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration weather radios.

Those radios will sound an alert and show a test message, or flash to indicate a message, in order to simulate what people would see or hear during an actual tornado warning. 

Local radio stations, TV stations and cable outlets will broadcast the test message via the Emergency Alert System. Participants, including individual schools and businesses, are advised to register for the drill with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

According to Bill Sammler, of the National Weather Service in Wakefield, 25 confirmed tornadoes touched down throughout the Commonwealth last year.