Central Virginia is not exactly Tornado Alley; a quick check on TornadoHistoryProject.com turns up one twister in the city limits and nine in Albemarle County in the last half-century. More common around here are the straight-line winds, microbursts (and even the odd derecho).
But tornados are not to be taken lightly. On Sept. 20, 1959, a twister near Ivy killed 11 people. And the one storm in the city limits, on May 13, 2000, is blamed for one injury.
Besides, the precautions you should take for tornados and other windstorms are pretty similar.
On Tuesday, the state will hold its annual Tornado Preparedness Day. At 9:45 a.m., expect to:
- Receive UVaAlerts text message (and possibly email), if you have not signed up; see to sign up.
- Receive an e-mail on your University email account
- Receive a page if you are part of the UVa Health System
- Hear an overhead announcement if in the U.Va. Medical Center complex
- See a test message on your computer if the desktop pop-up is installed
- See a test message on the UVa home page
- See a display on LED or LCD screens in some areas and classrooms across Grounds
U.Va.’s Office of Emergency Preparedness advises: “If you are not in a meeting, a class, or engaged in a critical activity when you see or hear the test tornado message, practice moving to a safe location or take a minute to plan how you would shelter from a tornado. This minute of effort may save your life one day.”
This Weather Channel video is a nice, quick primer on the best places to take shelter:
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