Superintendent’s Memo #331-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

December 14, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  2013 Tornado Drill

The next Statewide Tornado Drill will take place Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at 9:45 a.m.  The date will be observed as Tornado Preparedness Day.  (If widespread severe weather threatens the Commonwealth on that date, then the drill will be rescheduled for Wednesday, March 13, 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 12 statewide drill will fulfill that requirement.  Schools may choose an alternate date or time if this is not convenient.

The Virginia Department of Education supports participation in Tornado Preparedness Day.  This is an ideal time to educate staff members and students about tornadoes and to hold a drill. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) is asking for individual schools to register their participation in the 2013 drill by going to  Registration by school and not by division is important so that accurate numbers can be tallied.

For help in planning a tornado drill, contact your county, city or town emergency management office.  Staff there can help you identify tornado safe areas in buildings and also help you develop emergency plans for both natural and human-caused emergencies.  Find your local emergency management office at  Look for the link on the left side of the page.

If you have questions about Tornado Preparedness Day or the statewide drill, please contact Laura Southard, VDEM public outreach coordinator, at (804) 897-6510 or by e-mail at, or Dr. Cynthia Cave, director, Office of Student Services, Virginia Department of Education at (804)225-2818 or by e-mail at