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Virginia's annual statewide tornado drill scheduled for March 17


RICHMOND, Virginia — Nearly 400,000 Virginians have registered to participate in a statewide tornado drill.

The March 17 drill is intended to prepare businesses, schools and colleges, families and individuals in the event of a tornado.

The annual drill is a joint effort of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.

Jeff Stern is state coordinator of emergency management. He says 12 tornadoes hit the state in 2014, causing numerous injuries and more than $700,000 in property damage.

Registration for the tornado drill is not necessary, but people can learn more by signing up at .

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