Chairman Bulova Remarks on Statewide Tornado Drill

March 19, 2012- Today (at 9:45 a.m.) is the annual statewide tornado drill, a joint effort of the National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Fairfax County departments and agencies, along with businesses, schools and individual residents, registered to take part in this statewide drill as a way to test shelter-in-place locations and verify plans and procedures.

If this were a real tornado event, this auditorium is a shelter-in-place location and we would encourage everyone in attendance to remain here. If you are watching at home, use this opportunity to determine where the safest location is at your home or work:

• Shelter immediately in the nearest substantial building.
• Go to your building’s basement. If there is no basement, move to a small, windowless, interior room such as a closet, bathroom, or interior hall on the lowest level of the building.
• If you are in a high rise building go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
• If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area – do not get under an overpass or bridge.

Tornadoes are a possibility in Fairfax County. The last tornado to strike Fairfax County happened in Reston on April 27, 2011.

While the county government is participating in this drill, I’d also like to encourage our residents to remember to prepare, not only for tornadoes, but for any hazard. Preparedness is a shared responsibility between the government and its residents.

I encourage residents to takes these steps to become better prepared:

• Have preparedness kits in your homes, cars and place of work.
• Establish a communications plan so you can notify people you are okay either through text messages, social media posts, or phone calls to one designated out of town person who can then relay your status.
• Register on CEAN, the Community Emergency Alert Network, at for emergency alerts.
• Follow Fairfax County on our social media channels, Twitter and Facebook, as well as our emergency blog at to receive the latest emergency information from the county.

Today’s tornado drill is also occurring on day two of Fairfax County’s three-day emergency exercise “Operation Enduring Collaboration,” which is exercising county agencies on a tornado scenario.


Sharon Bulova

Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors




Media Contact:

Stephen Korda




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