Superintendent’s Memo #052-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

February 17, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  2012 Tornado Drill

The purpose of this memorandum is to inform you that the next Statewide Tornado Drill will take place Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at 9:45 a.m.  The date will be observed as Tornado Preparedness Day.  (If widespread severe weather threatens the state on that date, then the drill will be rescheduled for Wednesday, March 21, at 9:45 a.m.) The Code of Virginia in § 22.1-137.1 requires all public schools to participate in at least one tornado drill each year.  Participation in the March 20 statewide tornado drill will fulfill that requirement.  Schools may choose an alternate date or time if this is not convenient.

For information on planning a drill and registering for the Statewide Tornado Drill go to or to and click on the tornado graphic.  Registration for the drill is not required but does show statewide support.  The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) is requesting that schools register their participation in the 2012 drill, individually rather than by school division.

Last year 51 tornadoes hit Virginia, the second highest number on record (87 struck in 2004).  In April, ten people died and more than 100 were injured when dozens of tornadoes struck.  At least 212 homes and 17 businesses were destroyed and more than 1,050 homes and businesses were damaged.  Nearly every part of Virginia experienced tornadoes last year.

Questions about Tornado Preparedness Day and the Statewide Tornado Drill can be directed to Laura Southard, VDEM public outreach coordinator, at (804) 897-9732 or by e-mail at