Town Crier Articles

Tornado Safety
Posted on March 30, 2019 11:43 PM by Tom Nichols, Chair, Preparedness
Categories: Life in New Town

Tornado Safety

This part of Virginia will be exposed to possible Tornado activity and damages over the next  8 months.   You need to be Ready:


Know the Difference

Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss

your emergency plans and check supplies plus your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a

warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives!

Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado

warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately to your safe room.


How to Prepare for a Tornado

  • During any storm, listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings.
  • Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • Practice periodic tornado drills so that everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching.
  • Consider having your safe room reinforced. Plans for reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection can be found on the FEMA web site.
  • Prepare for high winds by for the summer by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
  • Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be
  • picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
  • Watch for tornado danger signs:

? Dark, often greenish clouds – a phenomenon caused by hail

? Wall cloud – an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm

? Cloud of debris

? Large hail

? Funnel cloud – a visible rotating extension of the cloud base, Roaring noise (like a freight train)


What to Do After a Tornado-Check for injuries. If you are trained, provide first aid to persons in need until emergency responders arrive.


  • Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
  • If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes when examining your walls, doors, staircases and windows for damage. 
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and report them to the utility company immediately.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights, do NOT use candles.
  • If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out of the building quickly and call the gas company or fire department.
  • Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • Keep all of your animals under your direct control.
  • Clean up spilled medications, bleaches. If you have spilled gasoline or other flammable liquids, call the fire dept. vacate areas where there is a chemical or gasoline spill.



Emergency Information:

•   Fire/Police: Dial 911

•  JCC  Emergency Hotline: 757-875-2424

•   JCC Emergency Management: 757-564-4315


  • Dominion Power: 1-866-366-4357
  • Water/Sewer:757-229-7421; 757-566-0112 (after hours) 
  • Virginia Natural Gas: 1-877-572-3342