Florida tornado drill: Here's why we do it

Florida conducted a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week 2022.

At 10 a.m., people across all Florida counties were encouraged to practice their tornado safety routine in order to be prepared in case of a real one.  

After the drill was over, the National Weather Service in Melbourne gave the "all clear."

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


Public and commercial broadcasters, school districts, private schools, preschools, and daycare centers were 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. 

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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 who participated: 

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.

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