Monday, March 11, 2013

Tuesday is Tornado Drill Day

A message from Germanna's Department of Police & Security Services:

During the past two years, 62 tornadoes hit Virginia, killing 10 people and injuring more than 100. Some 210 homes were destroyed, and more than 1,050 were damaged. Nearly every part of the state was affected.

We are now moving into tornado season and with that comes our yearly state wide tornado drill.

This year, Gov. Bob McDonnell has proclaimed Tuesday, March 12, as Tornado Preparedness Day. Germanna Community College will participate with two separate drills in order to cover each campus location.

The Fredericksburg and Locust Grove campus will hold their drill at 9:45 AM on March 12th. The Stafford Center, Auto Tech Center and Daniel Technology Center will conduct their drills on at 2 PM on March 12th.

Please take some time prior to the drill and locate the Severe Weather Shelter Areas around the campuses marked by the green signs. The drill will start with the tornado drill message being broadcasted over the emergency alert speaker system. The message will instruct everyone to move to the Severe Weather Shelter Areas and take cover. Once you have made it to a Severe Weather Shelter Area, crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down and cover your heads with their hands. Anticipate once everyone is in a Severe Weather Shelter Area, possibly being there for approximately 5 minutes before getting the “All Clear” message.

Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms. They can appear suddenly without warning and can be invisible until dust and debris are picked up or a funnel cloud appears. Be prepared to act quickly.

Know the Signs

· Strong, persistent rotation in the base of a cloud

· Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base – tornadoes sometimes have no visible funnel

· Hail or heavy rain followed by dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes, especially in Virginia, are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can’t be seen.

· Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn’t fade in a few seconds like thunder does

· If it’s night, look for small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds). These lights are power lines being snapped by very strong wind, perhaps a tornado.

· Persistent lowering of the cloud base

Watches and Warnings

Learn the terms that are used to identify a tornado.

Tornado Watch: a tornado is possible in your area. You should monitor weather-alert radios and local radio and TV stations for information.

Tornado Warning: a tornado has been sighted in the area or has been indicated by National Weather Service Doppler radar. When a warning is issued, take cover immediately.

Preparing for Tornadoes

Get a NOAA Weather Radio with warning alarm tone and battery backup to get information directly from the National Weather Service. This is the quickest way to learn that a tornado is heading your way. Many models are available.
Know what tornado watch and tornado warning mean.
Determine in advance where you will take cover in case of a tornado warning. Keep this safe location uncluttered.
Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
If underground shelter is not available, go into a windowless interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible.
Get a kit of emergency supplies. Store it in your shelter location.
Practice tornado drills at least once a year
During a Tornado

When a tornado warning is issued, take cover in your safe location immediately or on the lowest level of the nearest substantial building. Protect your body from flying debris with a heavy blanket, pillows, sofa cushions or mattress.
If you can’t get to your safe location or the lowest level of a substantial building:
Open buildings (shopping mall, gym or civic center): Try to get into a restroom or interior hallway. If there is no time, get up against something that will support or deflect falling debris. Protect your head by covering it with your arms.
Cars and trucks: Get out of your vehicle and try to find shelter inside a sturdy building. A culvert or ditch can provide shelter if a substantial building is not nearby. Lie down flat and cover your head with your hands. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
Outdoors. Try to find shelter immediately in the nearest substantial building. If no buildings are close, lie down flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
Mobile homes: Do not stay in mobile homes. Leave immediately and seek shelter inside a nearby sturdy building, or lie down in a ditch away from your home, covering your head with your hands. Mobile homes are extremely unsafe during tornadoes.
Stay in your safe location until the danger has passed.
--Department of Police & Security Services

(540) 891-3079 or 2-9-1-1


Edwina Sybert said...

“Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.” Indeed, this is true. The reported incident of tornadoes lately is really alarming. People should be aware and be more vigilant with ways to keep their families safe. We don’t want to fall victim of this, so we need to disseminate information and practice to be prepared.

Edwina Sybert

Anonymous said...

thanks for share......