March 5-9 is Severe Weather Awareness Week across West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginians are no strangers to severe weather. In recent years, numerous West Virginians have died as a result of catastrophic flash flooding and lightning, and millions of dollars in property damage has occurred as a result of thunderstorm wind damage.

Since severe weather impacts every individual in every region of the state, March 5-9, 2018, has been declared Severe Weather Awareness Week across West Virginia. In response, the National Weather Service in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the West Virginia Broadcasters Association will share severe weather safety information throughout the week.

All West Virginians are encouraged to activate and practice their severe weather emergency plans during the Statewide Tornado Safety Drill set to take place at 10 am EST, Tuesday March 6. At that time, the National Weather Service will issue a Special Weather Statement to initiate the drill. If inclement weather is forecast for March 6, the Statewide Tornado Drill will be rescheduled for Thursday March 8, or the first available good weather day.

Severe weather awareness and preparedness involves three steps:

1. BE INFORMED – Understand the types of hazardous weather that can affect you and your family and stay up to date on the weather forecast regularly at or your favorite weather source. Get a NOAA Weather Radio and sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials.

2. PLAN AHEAD – Build an emergency kit and develop a severe weather plan that considers all types of local hazards and associated risks.

3. TAKE ACTION – When severe weather strikes, activate your severe weather emergency plan. After severe weather strikes, take action in your community.

Partner organizations and the media are encouraged to participate in the preparedness activities! Various articles, infographics and social media plans are available for use and can be found at Consider including the hashtag #WVWx in your organization’s severe weather preparedness related social media posts.

Finally, help us build a Weather-Ready West Virginia by becoming a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador. This initiative is intended for organizations and designed to help serve the public by strengthening our national resilience against extreme weather events. For more information and to apply, go to

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at