More than 692K signed up for Va. tornado drill

Suffolk students practice tornado drill, 2012, WAVY

RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WAVY) — Virginia emergency management officials say more than 692,000 people have registered for Tuesday’s statewide tornado drill, including military installations and schools in Hampton Roads.

The drill is scheduled for 9:45 a.m, and is sponsored by the state Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service to help people prepare for tornado season. Last year, more than 1 million people participated.

The Public Affairs Office for Naval Station Norfolk said in a news release that at 9:45 a.m., “the Naval Station Norfolk Emergency Operations Center will sound the ‘Take Cover’ siren over the Giant Voice speakers. The Take Cover siren sounds like the old air raid siren and lasts for 30 seconds. This will be followed by the Exercise Tornado Warning announcement over the Giant Voice/Inside voice system. Upon hearing this, commands on board the installation are asked to execute their facility’s Emergency Action Plan steps for a tornado by having their personnel move to their designated tornado shelter area and conduct training on the actions to take. The exercise will end at 10 a.m. when the ‘All Clear’ signal will be sounded over the Giant Voice speakers followed by an All Clear and Secure from Exercise message. The ‘All Clear’ signal is a 10 second high/low tone which sounds similar to European emergency vehicle sirens.”

Sixty-seven tornadoes have struck Virginia in the last three years, killing 10 people and injuring more than 100.

Registration for the drill is not required, but officials say people can learn more and show their support by signing up at


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