Tornado Drill Message March 18 at Jefferson Lab

Tornado Drill Message March 18 at Jefferson Lab

On Tuesday, March 18, Jefferson Lab will join with schools and business across Virginia in Tornado Preparedness Day.

On that day, at 9:45 a.m., all National Weather Service offices serving Virginia will issue a tornado drill warning. The warning will be a tone-alert broadcast on NOAA Weather Radios that starts the coordinated statewide test of the Emergency Alert System. The EAS test will be broadcast on television, radio stations and cable systems.

At the lab, we also will deploy our sitewide alert system to indicate the start of the drill. Through this system, a message will be delivered to pagers and e-mail. JLab staffers should make their way to the designated safe areas at their work location. To determine your safe area, see the table at the end of this message.

The tornado drill will end at 9:50 a.m. At that time, a second message will be sent via JLab's sitewide alert system to mark the end of the drill, and all staff should resume their normal work duties at that time.

Lab staff will serve as observers during the drill. The observers will gather data and summarize their findings in a report to lab leadership.

To learn more about the statewide drill, visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management website at

Should you have any questions related to tornado safety at Jefferson Lab, please contact your local safety warden or visit the lab's emergency management website at

Also, I encourage you to apply the lessons that you learn here at home and with your family.

As the Department of Emergency Management notes, "Tornadoes can strike anywhere, anytime, and you need to know the drill."

What would you do if you heard a tornado warning here at JLab?

If you are in:

  • Experimental Halls, Tunnel - Stay put where you are.
  • ARC, VARC, Test Lab, CEBAF Center, EEL - Seek a hallway or windowless area in the center of the building. Lower floors are preferable to upper. Interior stairwells are usually good places to take shelter. Stay off the elevators; you could be trapped in them if the power is lost.
  • Normally occupied, permanent buildings within the fence (MCC, CHL, Counting House, 87, 89 - If you can get to an underground area safely, do so. Otherwise follow the instructions above.
  • Office trailers and other re-locatable structures - Get out! Seek refuge in one of the buildings above.
  • Caught in the open - Lie flat on low ground, protecting your head. If possible, use open ground away from trees and cars, which can be blown onto you.

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