COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 58
March 19, 1999

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: "Tornado Preparedness Day"
  The advent of spring increases the possibility of severe
  weather conditions such as tornados, and it is important
  for schools to be prepared to deal with such severe weather
  conditions.  Consequently, Governor Jim Gilmore has
  proclaimed Tuesday, March 23, 1999, as "Tornado
  Preparedness Day."  The aim of this proclamation is to
  focus attention on tornadoes and help spread preparedness
  information.

  The Virginia Department of Emergency Services (VDES) has
  already mailed you a letter informing you about this
  proclamation.  Included was a publication, "A Guide To
  Developing A Severe Weather Emergency Plan For Schools." 
  This publication provides valuable information on
  understanding the dangers posed by severe weather
  conditions and how to design a response plan.

  The Department of Education supports this initiative and
  encourages your schools to actively participate in tornado
  preparedness by using the guide to prepare an emergency
  response plan and conducting tornado drills.  You are also
  encouraged to work with an architect or engineer to
  identify and designate safe tornado shelter areas in
  various parts of your schools.

  We will work closely with VDES to prepare and disseminate
  informational documents to schools to assist you in
  developing a comprehensive emergency response plan.  If you
  have any questions on the "Tornado Preparedness Day" or
  other emergency response issues, please contact Vijay
  Ramnarain at (804) 225-2035.


  PDS/ya