Be prepared: Tornado drill expected across Florida this Wednesday

Heads up, Floridians: there will be a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

It will happen at 10 a.m. EST.

"Emergency managers and meteorologists ask community members to consider practicing their tornado action plan. If it is not feasible to participate during the exercise, please consider discussing tornado response in your place of work and home," officials said. 

Officials say that participation in the drill is voluntary and decided county by county.

If your county participates, you should consider yourselves under a Tornado Watch. This means that you should monitor the weather and be prepared to go to a safe place in the event of a warning. A Tornado Warning will then be issued at 10 a.m. EST, meaning you should take immediate protective action.


Public and commercial broadcasters, school districts, private schools, preschools, and daycare centers are encouraged to participate in the drill. 

The Seminole County Office of Emergency Management and National Weather Service - Melbourne partnered to develop 'The Great Tornado' community-wide drill in 2015 during Severe Weather Awareness Week. 

RELATED: Chilly rain arrives in Central Florida on Tuesday

Since then, the State of Florida adopted this event, and now all 67 counties participate in the drill. 

The Florida Division of Emergency Management provided the following timeline for those participating:

February 9: The Day of the Drill

  • After 8:00 a.m. EST: Consider a Tornado Watch to be in effect• Announce watch to staff and/or students• Designate authority (coordinator)• Evacuate tornado vulnerable areas
  • 10:00 a.m. EST: Tornado Warning• Receive test message• Upon determination of immediate threat, give "take shelter" or "duck and cover" command (depending on space available at location)
  • 10:30 a.m. EST: Termination of Watch and Warning• Give instructions to return to normal activities (You will not receive notification. Terminate the drill as you see fit.)
  • After the Drill Wrap-up• Following the drill, assess and revise plan as needed.

For more information, to go

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