Gov Proclaims Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week in West Virginia


​​A statewide tornado drill will be conducted on March 20, 2024, at 11:00 a.m.

​CHARLESTON, WV—Governor Jim Just​ice has proclaimed the week of March 18 - 22, 2024, as Spring  Severe Weather Awareness Week in West Virginia. This annual event aims to raise awareness and preparedness for severe weather events that can impact the state during the spring season.

Read the Proclamation

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the deadly April 1974 tornado outbreak that struck six counties in southern West Virginia, resulting in one fatality. In remembrance of this tragic event, Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week will emphasize the importance of preparedness and safety measures to mitigate the impact of severe weather.

"It's important that we take time to remember the 50th anniversary of the 1974 tornado outbreak during this year's Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week," said Gov. Justice. "By working together, we can ensure that our communities are better equipped to handle severe weather events and protect lives and property."

A statewide tornado drill will be conducted at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 20. The National Weather Service, in partnership with the West Virginia Emergency Management Division (WVEMD), Ready WV, and the West Virginia Broadcasters Association, will issue a test tornado warning message.

Across the state, weather alert radios will activate, and participating television and radio stations will broadcast the alert. Wireless Emergency Alerts (alerts sent to cell phones and other mobile devices) will not be activated as part of this drill. The drill gives all citizens the opportunity to practice tornado safety measures.

During the test alert, all West Virginians, schools, businesses, hospitals, nursing homes, educators, community groups, and government agencies are encouraged to participate in the tornado drill and revise their emergency plans as needed.

"Severe weather is our most constant threat, and WVEMD is committed to ensuring our citizens are prepared for all types of hazards," said GE McCabe, director of WVEMD. “Testing your emergency plan during Severe Weather Awareness Week, whether with family, classmates, or co-workers, helps ensure we'll all be ready for the next severe weather event."

Throughout the week, various educational initiatives and events will be organized in collaboration with our hazardous weather partners at the National Weather Service, Ready West Virginia, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), West Virginia's local emergency management agencies, and media organizations. These efforts will focus on educating West Virginians about severe weather threats, emergency response procedures, and the importance of having a preparedness plan in place.

Residents are encouraged to participate in educational activities, review their emergency preparedness plans, and practice different ways of staying informed about weather forecasts and warnings using official sources of information.

For more information and resources on severe weather preparedness, please visit the official NWS webpage

Contact Information

Lora D Lipscomb, Public Information Officer