March Safety Tip: Yes Virginia, We Have Tornadoes

The Safety Tip is provided by U.Va.'s Office of Emergency Preparedness on the 11th of every month.

March 11, 2011 — During the past three years, 62 tornadoes struck Virginia, injuring more than 220 people and causing nearly $48 million damage to homes, businesses and other property. In the event of a tornado, would you know what to do?

Know the Lingo

•    Tornado Watch—conditions are right for tornado formation; remain alert to weather conditions.
•    Tornado Warning—a tornado has been sighted; take shelter immediately.

Find a Safe Space

•    Sturdy buildings. Go to the basement and stay away from windows. If there is no basement, move to a small, windowless interior room such as a closet, bathroom or interior hall on the lowest level of the building. Face an interior wall, crouch low to the ground, and protect your head by covering it with your arms.
•    Open buildings, outdoors, vehicles, mobile homes or trailers. Find shelter inside the nearest sturdy building. If there is no time to go anywhere else, seek shelter right where you are. Stay low against a strong wall, or lie down flat in a ditch or depression. Protect your head by covering it with your arms.

Practice Makes Perfect

March 15 is Tornado Preparedness Day in Virginia. Practice your tornado safety during the statewide tornado drill.

For information, visit here or contact the Office of Emergency Preparedness at 434-982-0565 or

Media Contact

Dan Heuchert

Assistant Director of University News and Chief Copy Editor, UVA Today Office of University Communications