Severe Weather Awareness 2019


About Severe Weather Awareness Week

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has proclaimed March 18-22, 2019 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in West Virginia. Severe Weather Awareness Week is sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the National Weather Service to educate the public about the danger of tornadoes, floods, thunderstorms, straight-line winds and other severe weather events that occur in West Virginia, including the precautions that can be taken to save lives and protect families.

Download the 2019 Severe Weather Awareness Week Informational Packet


Tornado Drill-Tuesday, March 19, 2019
The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the National Weather Service in Charleston and the West Virginia Broadcaster’s Association will conduct a Tornado Drill at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19.
Everyone is encouraged to participate in the drill by practicing seeking secure, safe shelter from a tornado. This test will be broadcast over NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio and many local television and radio stations. Local officials may also sound their warning sirens. Area residents, businesses, and schools are urged to treat the drill as if it were an actual tornado warning.
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Be Ready for a Tornado
What to do when a tornado warning is issued for your area:
·         Quickly move to shelter in the basement or lowest floor of a permanent structure.
·         In homes and small buildings, go to the basement and get under something sturdy, like a workbench or stairwell. If a basement is not available, go to an interior part of the home on the lowest level. A good rule of thumb is to put as many walls between you and the tornado as possible.
·         In schools, hospitals and public places, move to the designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on the lowest floors are generally best.
·         Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Broken glass and windblown projectiles cause more injuries and deaths than collapsed buildings. Protect your head with a pillow, blanket, or mattress.
·         If you are caught outdoors, a sturdy shelter is the only safe location in a tornado.
·         If you are boating or swimming, get to land and seek shelter immediately.
·         Stay tuned to commercial radio or television broadcasts for news on changing weather conditions or approaching storms.
Conduct regular tornado drills. Make sure each household member knows where to go and
what to do in the event of a tornado.
·         Know the difference:
o   A Tornado Watch means conditions exist for a tornado to develop;
o   A Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
·         Be aware of the following signs that can indicate an approaching tornado:
o   Dark, often greenish sky
o   Large hail
o   A large, dark low-lying cloud
o   Loud roar, like a freight train


Contact Information

Lora Lipscomb, WVDHSEM Public Information Officer