Schools, groups and individuals are encouraged to find safe cover and take a selfie

The Great Tornado Drill February 7 #PCtornadodrillPinellas County Government is encouraging residents to participate in the statewide Great Tornado Drill on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 10 a.m. Schools, organizations and individuals are asked to simulate a Tornado Warning, find a safe place to take cover, and take a selfie photo to post on social media using the hashtag #PCTornadoDrill.

A tornado can hit within minutes after a Tornado Warning is issued. The annual Great Tornado Drill is an opportunity to plan ahead, identify safe places to take cover in the event of a tornado, and practice emergency communications in classrooms, offices and other daytime locations.

Post your selfie! Pinellas County will select one winner to receive a NOAA emergency weather radio and hurricane preparedness bag. Photos will be judged based on proper “duck and cover” techniques.

Guidelines for the drill  

Before the drill  

  • Designate an emergency coordinator.
  • Inform others at home, school or work.
  • Review and refine a tornado plan (Find information about planning for a tornado at
  • Make sure everyone is signed up for Alert Pinellas to receive emergency notifications:

The day of the drill  
Feb. 7 – After 8 a.m. 
Consider a Tornado Watch to be in effect. A watch means tornadoes are possible in your area.

  • Remain alert for approaching storms and closely monitor the weather.
  • Listen to your emergency NOAA emergency weather radio.
  • Make the announcement, “Tornado Watch. THIS IS A DRILL.”

Feb. 7 – At 10 a.m. 
Consider a Tornado Warning to be in effect.  A warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. It is time to take cover!

  • “Receive” the TEST emergency message from Alert Pinellas.
  • “Receive” the TEST message on your NOAA emergency weather radio.
  • Go to the tornado safe space and take cover. (Find information about staying safe during a tornado at
  • Take a selfie and post it on Facebook or X (formerly known as Twitter) using the hashtag #PCTornadoDrill

After the drill  

  • Discuss, assess and revise your tornado plan as needed.

Severe Weather Awareness Week  

The Great Tornado Drill is a part of  Severe Weather Awareness Week, which runs Monday to Friday, Feb. 5 – 9, with an emphasis on a specific weather event for each day.:

  • Monday, Feb. 5: Lightning
  • Tuesday, Feb. 6: Marine hazards and rip currents
  • Wednesday, Feb. 7: Thunderstorms and tornadoes
  • Thursday, Feb. 8: Hurricanes and flooding
  • Friday, Feb. 9: Temperature extremes and wildfires

The National Weather Service has more information on tornado safety.