Officials: Statewide Tornado Drill met with technological difficulties Tuesday

Updated 2:30 p.m.

Alert notifications didn't work Tuesday morning during a statewide tornado drill, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Notifications to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration radios and the Emergency Alert System, which notifies citizens through television and radio, malfunctioned due to technical difficulties at the National Weather Service, VDEM stated in a news release. 

The annual tornado drill was scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Several people still participated, VDEM said. 

"It was a drill, and this is why we practice," the release stated. 

The National Weather Service is looking into the problem and working to make system improvements, the release said. 

Previously:

Local public safety officials are urging residents to participate in Virginia's Statewide Tornado Drill Tuesday morning.

The drill is scheduled for 9:45 a.m., according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Participants are instructed to act as though a tornado warning has been issued or a tornado has been sighted near the building and move as quickly as possible to the nearest safe place. Participants should use stairs to reach the lowest level of a building and avoid using elevators, according to emergency management officials.

Participants should crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down and covering their heads with their hands.

Visit the department's website for more information about conducting a drill. 

A tornado watch means weather conditions are favorable for a tornado in the area, and residents should monitor weather-alert information, according to the National Weather Service.

A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted on the ground by emergency officials in the area, or has been indicated by Doppler radar, or that a tornado is imminent. Residents should seek cover immediately.

When a tornado has been spotted in the area, the safest place to go is a building’s basement and away from windows.  If there is no basement, go to a windowless interior room, such as a closet, bathroom or interior hall on the lowest level of the building.

Daily Press archives contributed to this report.

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