COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 29

February 4, 2005

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Tornado Preparedness Day

 

Last year was a record-breaking year in many parts of the state for severe weather. The National Weather Service reports that Virginia experienced more than 40 tornadoes, with the majority occurring during hurricane season. In Virginia, tornadoes can occur as early as March.

 

In order to focus attention on tornadoes and to help spread preparedness information to communities across the Commonwealth, Governor Mark R. Warner has proclaimed Tuesday, March 15, 2005, as Tornado Preparedness Day. This day will begin with a voluntary statewide tornado drill at 9:45 a.m. The Code of Virginia 22.1-137.1 requires that all schools participate in at least one tornado drill per year. Participation in this drill would fulfill that requirement. However, if this drill date or time is not convenient, schools are welcome to choose an alternative date or time.

 

The Department of Education supports Tornado Preparedness Day. I encourage your schools to participate actively in tornado preparedness by educating their staff members and students about tornadoes and taking part in the statewide tornado drill. Your local emergency manager can help you to identify your schools tornado safety areas as well as develop your schools emergency plans for both natural and manmade hazards. More information about tornado preparedness and a listing of local emergency managers can be found at http://www.vaemergency.com/.

 

We will work closely with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to disseminate information to schools about Tornado Preparedness Day. VDEM has already e-mailed a letter to you with links to tornado resources for educators and information about the upcoming statewide tornado drill. If you have any questions about Tornado Preparedness Day or the statewide drill, please contact Dawn Eischen, VDEM public affairs coordinator, at dawn.eischen@vdem.virginia.gov, (804)897-6510 or Arlene Cundiff, at arlene.cundiff@doe.virginia.gov, (804)225-2871.

 

JLD/ADC/ERC