- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia emergency management officials are preparing for a statewide tornado drill.

The drill will take place on Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. At that time, the National Weather Service will send a test tornado warning to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration weather radios.

Local radio stations, TV stations and cable outlets will display test messages or sound an alert similar to what residents would hear if there were an actual tornado.

State officials are encouraging Virginians to use the drill to discuss ways to prepare for storms and test their emergency procedures.

Five people were killed in Virginia on Feb. 24, 2016, when tornadoes hit the state. Bill Sammler of the National Weather Service in Wakefield says Virginia averages 16 tornadoes every year.

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