March 1, 2024

ReadyVB: Virginia’s Severe Weather Awareness Week Highlights Tornado and Thunderstorm Safety

Severe Weather Awareness Week for Virginia is March 4-8.

Ready VB Severe Weather

Virginia Beach Emergency Management is joining efforts with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service in spreading the word about Severe Weather Awareness Week for Virginia.  

The weeklong observance, March 4-8, promotes preparedness and resilience from seasonal threats such as tornadoes, severe storms and flash flooding. It is also a great time to remind residents to build an emergency kit and plan.  

Residents have two ways to stay informed during local emergencies including major weather events. Text “VBAlert” to 67283 or sign up at to receive important messages and emergency alert notifications from the City of Virginia Beach during inclement weather. 

Residents can also find valuable resources, tips and information on how to prepare before, during and after an emergency at

Take Action Before Severe Weather Hits 

Preparation is key to staying safe and minimizing impacts during severe weather. It’s important for residents to be weather ready for any major incidents such as hurricanes and flooding, which coastal areas are prone to, or the April 30, 2023, tornado. 

  • Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and a contact list during an emergency. If you live in a mobile home or home without a basement, find a nearby safe building that you can get to quickly. 
  • Safe Room: Find a place in your home such as an interior room. Avoid windows. Go to the lowest floor, small center room (like a bathroom or closet), under a stairwell, or in an interior hallway with no windows. If you have a metal bathtub, that may offer a shell of partial protection, but not plastic or fiberglass ones, which are easily penetrated by projectiles. Even in an interior room, you should cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets, etc.), to protect against falling debris in case the roof and ceiling fail.  

Stay Ahead. Stay Informed. 

Stay informed by knowing your severe weather terminology. This includes: 

  • Watches: Issued when conditions are favorable for the event to occur. Does not mean the event will occur. 
    • Tornado watch: Conditions are favorable for the development of thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes. 
  • Warnings: Issued when the threat of life and property is imminent, occurring and heading your way, or high likelihood of occurring. Take appropriate action to protect life and property. 
    • Tornado warning: A thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado is imminent. Take shelter now.  


  • Emergency Preparedness website: Residents can find more valuable resources and information on emergency preparedness at  
  • Sign up & Subscribe: In additional to signing up for VBAlert at or texting “VBAlert” to 67283, residents are also encouraged to subscribe to the City of Virginia Beach’s weekly email newsletter “Be in the Know” at

The City of Virginia Beach Emergency Management team promotes a comprehensive emergency management program to mitigate Virginia Beach's impacts from man-made, natural or technological disasters. Learn more at  

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