Citizens urged to participate in state-wide tornado drill March 19

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: March 18, 2019 | 3:15 p.m.

In 2018, Hurricane Michael spawned seven tornadoes and killed seven Virginians.  To help avoid a similar situation in Surry County, emergency services coordinator Ray Phelps is urging everyone to prepare for tornado threats by registering for the annual statewide tornado drill at www.vaemergency.gov/tornado .

“This is the first time Surry County has participated in a state-wide drill, I understand,” Phelps said, “and it’s very important that everyone participate.  So Surry County is taking a proactive stance in assuring that our citizens can prepare themselves for an emergency.  Preparation for disasters – in this case, tornados, has got to start at home – which will help emergency management and our first responders when they go out after something like this.” 

Phelps said the way the drill will work is that at 9:45 a.m. on March 19 the EAS (emergency alert system) will go off. It will say that it is a tornado drill and it’s alerting everyone who has access to that  system over radio, tv, and cable outlets.  

The state urges that things to keep in mind are to 1) Know when and where to take shelter, 2) Identify your community’s warning systems, 3) Establish a family communication plan, and 4) Register for the statewide tornado drill.  The watch word is “Make a plan.  Seconds count.”  

To receive forms on how to prepare an emergency kit for yourself and what to do in the event of a tornado warning, contact the department of emergency services at 757-294-5271. 

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