COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 34

February 9, 2007

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Tornado Preparedness Day, March 13, 2007

 

In Virginia, tornadoes can occur throughout the state any time of year, with little or no warning. Recent years have brought record-breaking numbers of tornadoes to the Commonwealth. Tornado preparedness is more important than ever.

 

In order to focus attention on tornadoes and to help spread preparedness information to communities across the Commonwealth, Governor Timothy M. Kaine has proclaimed Tuesday, March 13, 2007, as Tornado Preparedness Day. This day will begin with a voluntary statewide tornado drill at 9:45 a.m. Should severe weather threaten the state on March 13, the tornado drill will be rescheduled for 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14.

 

The Code of Virginia in 22.1-137.1 requires that all public 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.

 

We will work closely with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to disseminate information to schools about Tornado Preparedness Day. VDEM has already sent you a letter with links to tornado resources for educators and information about the upcoming statewide tornado drill.

 

For the first time this year, VDEM has created an online registration form for statewide tornado drill participants on its website, www.vaemergency.com. Entering your schools information will help VDEM show the media and the public the full extent of school participation across the state. With your help, we will be able to show a growing number of schools and students who participate in the drill.

 

The Department of Education supports Tornado Preparedness Day. I encourage your schools to participate actively by educating 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 man-made hazards. More information about tornado preparedness and a listing of local emergency managers can be found at www.vaemergency.com.

 

If you have any questions about Tornado Preparedness Day or the statewide drill, please contact Jolie Brendlinger, VDEM public affairs specialist, at jolie.brendlinger@vdem.virginia.gov, (804) 897-6510 or Arlene Cundiff, coordinator of the safe and drug-free schools program with the Virginia Department of Education, at 804-225-2871, or arlene.cundiff@doe.virginia.gov.

 

BKCJr/ADC/fta