2016 tornado 20160225_MET_TORNADO_DM02

Trees blocks a road after a tornado hit Waverly in February 2016.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An annual statewide drill to prepare for tornado threats and test public warning systems will be held in Virginia on March 17.

The drill will begin at approximately 9:45 a.m. with a test tornado warning sent in the form of a required monthly test by the National Weather Service to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios and local broadcasters.

The National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said in a news release that those participating in the drill — including schools and businesses — should turn on their NOAA Weather Radio by 9:40 a.m. and listen to the voice broadcast. Those listening will hear the audible test alert broadcast at 9:45 am.

Local radio stations, TV stations and cable outlets will also broadcast the test message via the Emergency Alert System.

Officials said residents should use the drill as an opportunity to test their tornado emergency procedures and discuss preparedness efforts. In 2019, 19 confirmed tornadoes touched down throughout Virginia.

The drill will be rescheduled to March 18 if the forecast calls for widespread severe weather on March 17.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.

Your RTD Sports Plus digital subscription does not include access to this section.

Upgrade to full digital and have unlimited access to Richmond.com. If you need assistance, call us at (800) 468-3382.

To start a new subscription or to activate digital access included in your print subscription, click the Sign Up button below. You can choose between Subscriber Plus, and receive unlimited access to Richmond.com, or Sports Plus for access to our exclusive sports coverage.

Already a digital subscriber? Click Log In.

Need help? Click here or call (800) 468-3382.

Learn more about Subscriber Plus or Sports Plus.