Severe weather awareness and Tornado Drill 2023

by | Feb 27, 2023 | Weather

Once again, VDEM is partnering with the National Weather Service to promote Severe Weather Awareness Week. The week is designed to refresh, remind, and educate everyone about the seasonal threats from severe weather and how to avoid them. It’s also a great time to make and practice your emergency plan!

The week is usually planned for March and includes a statewide tornado drill. Virginia’s Severe Weather Awareness Week will be from March 6-10, 2023, with the Statewide Tornado Drill taking place on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at 9:45 a.m.

Each day during the week, a different topic will be covered and shared on social media. The information shared will be preparedness tips and ways to stay safe during severe weather.

For more information about Severe Weather Awareness Week 2023, please click here.

Topic by Day


Watch vs Warning




Severe Thunderstorms (Hail, Lightning, and Wind)


Flash Flooding


Outdoor Weather Safety

Statewide Tornado Drill

Every school, business, workplace, and family across the commonwealth is strongly encouraged to participate in the statewide tornado drill.

The drill will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System via the Required Monthly Test (RMT).  There WILL NOT be an actual Tornado Warning issued.

Most NOAA Weather Radio receivers (including the Midland WR-100 that many schools have) DO NOT sound an audible alert for the RMT product, but instead, may have a blinking light on the display to indicate that an RMT was received. As such, when the RMT for the statewide tornado drill is initiated at 9:45 AM on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, there’s a good chance that your NOAA Weather Radio will not automatically sound an alarm.

Since your NOAA Weather Radio may not sound an alarm at the time the RMT is issued, you will want to do one of the following: turn your radio on to listen to the broadcast by 9:40 am and when you hear the alert, simply start your tornado drill at 9:45 AM. If you do not have an NOAA Weather Radio simply start your drill and enact your safety plan at 9:45 AM.

There will be no follow-up statements issued by the NWS to mark the end of the statewide tornado drill. It will simply be over when your group, school, business, organization, or family feels that you have adequately practiced your tornado shelter procedures.

If there is actual severe weather occurring on the morning of March 7, 2023, the statewide tornado drill will be postponed. The alternate date for the drill is Thursday, March 9, 2023, at 9:45 AM EST.

Social Media Graphics

VDEM maintains a library of over 250 design elements, social media graphics, and print publications featuring disaster preparedness and recovery information. Download Severe Weather related social media graphics using the link below.

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