West Virginia Severe Weather Awareness Week Kicks Off Next Week

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) Governor Jim Justice has signed a proclamation designating March 18-22, 2019, as Severe Weather Awareness Week in West Virginia. Severe weather impacts every citizen in every region of the state, affecting schools, businesses, personal lives and the economy on a local and state level.

As part of severe weather awareness activities, a statewide tornado drill will be conducted in conjunction with the proclamation. At approximately 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 19, the National Weather Service (NWS), in partnership with West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM), West Virginia Weather Preparedness Committee (WVWPC), and West Virginia Broadcasters Association, will issue a test tornado warning message.

Across West Virginia, warning sirens will sound, weather alert radios will activate, and television and radio stations will broadcast the alert. This drill will give citizens the opportunity to practice tornado safety measures.

During the test alert, all West Virginians, businesses, hospitals, nursing homes, educators and government agencies are encouraged to participate in the tornado drill and update their emergency plans as needed.

“Severe weather is West Virginia’s most constant threat. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is committed to ensuring our citizens are prepared for all types of hazards,” said Michael Todorovich, director of WVDHSEM. “The anniversary of the Shinnston Tornado that killed 153 West Virginians 75 years ago serves as a warning to heighten our preparedness. Testing your emergency plan during Severe Weather Awareness Week, whether with family members or co-workers, helps ensure we all will be ready for the next severe weather event in the State.”

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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 tbarker@woay.com