Web Extra: Where to go during a tornado warning

Posted on: 4:51 pm, June 12, 2013, by , updated on: 06:36am, June 13, 2013

After severe weather moved through Hampton Roads Monday, NewsChannel 3 received several inquires from folks who live in mobile homes about safe places they can go during tornado warnings.

NewsChannel 3 Took Action and Got Results, posing the question to Emergency Management officials across Hampton Roads and Northeastern North Carolina.

Their responses are below and we’ll post more localities as we receive information.

All localities encourage all residents to be prepared with plans and alert systems. You can also find information from Ready Hampton Roads here.

Accomack County – Director of Public Safety Jeff Terwilliger says while there are no designated tornado shelters, folks in mobile homes are encouraged to find a structurally sound building nearby, and plan ahead.

Chesapeake – Residents of mobile homes are encouraged to plan ahead and find a strong, sturdy building nearby where they can seek shelter. Robb Braidwood, Deputy Coordinator for Emergency Management, says Chesapeake has also reached out to mobile home communities to discuss plans with residents and distribute NOAA weather radios.

Hampton- The city encourages residents to have NOAA weather radios and a plan in place before severe weather strikes. During a tornado warning, residents of mobile homes are encouraged to seek shelter in interior, stable structures, which can include city libraries, community centers and public buildings. Hui-Shan Walker, Emergency Management Coordinator, says the city is also working on a federal grant that will allow them to do outreach and provide NOAA weather radios to vulnerable communities.

Isle of Wight – Mobile home residents are encouraged to find shelter in a building with a secure foundation. Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Andrea Clontz says locations like libraries or shopping centers can be ideal. Clontz also recommends signing up for IW Alert notification system, which you can do here.

James City County – Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Kate Hall says mobile home residents in James City County are encouraged to move to the safest permanent location and not remain in the mobile home during tornado warnings. You can find more from James City County here.

Newport News – In Newport News, mobile home residents are encouraged to seek shelter in another fixed building during a tornado warning. Kim Lee, Coordinator of Media Relations, says there are no designated tornado shelters, but city buildings are a good option if they are nearby. Lee stresses the importance of planning ahead and knowing safe locations in advance.

Norfolk – Folks living in Norfolk should have a plan and identify hardened structures nearby that can provide shelter during a tornado warning. Jim Redick, Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response for Norfolk, recommends city buildings as an option and the importance of alert systems and NOAA weather radios. You can find more from Norfolk by clicking here.

Suffolk – Diana Klink, Director of Media & Community Relations, says while there are no designated tornado shelters in Suffolk, the “Emergency Management Department has worked with individuals, schools and businesses over the years to recommend safe areas to be used as tornado sheltering areas.”

Virginia Beach – Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management Mark Marchbank says Virginia Beach stresses preparedness for severe weather. For mobile home residents, there are no designated tornado shelters, but the city encourages folks to find buildings nearby and be familiar with their operating schedules. City buildings and shopping centers can be good options. Marchbank also encourages the use of NOAA weather radios and the VBAlert system, which you can sign up for online here.

Williamsburg – Kate Hoving, Communications Specialist for the city, tells NewsChannel 3 that there are no longer any mobile home parks in Williamsburg. They still offer information for everyone on-line, which can be accessed here.