Virginia Tech Emergency Management Team keeps students safe during Tuesday’s tornado warnings

New River Valley News

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The remnants of Hurricane Ida brought threats of flooding and tornadoes to the New River Valley on Tuesday.

Then, on Wednesday, Sept. 1, the National Weather Service confirmed two EF-1 tornadoes touched down in Montgomery County, one several miles southeast of Radford and the other just northwest of Merrimac.

Neither tornado touched down on the Virginia Tech campus, but the Virginia Tech Emergency Management Team was ready and sprang into action with alerts notifying students and staff.

“It got so bad, like everyone was getting alerts on the phone, like take shelter now, even on our laptops. They made us get under the tables and face the back of the wall,” said Kori Ridley.

Ridley, a freshman at Virginia Tech’s campus, says she felt nervous because she is not used to this type of weather.

A junior, Nate Robie, says he and two of his friends were playing basketball when the tornado alerts appeared on their phones.

“They made us go down the basement and do the Virginia Tech protocols to shelter in place,” said Robie.

Virginia Tech Emergency Management Vice President Michael Mulhare says his team was prepared to respond to any danger that came near campus. The team includes Emergency Management personnel, the Blacksburg Police Department, and campus police.

“First is University Resilience, making sure the University can continue doing what it needs to do. The second is Departmental Readiness, making sure the department has plans in place to respond to something that occurs. The third is Individual Preparedness,” said Mulhare, describing the protocol in keeping the campus safe.

On Saturday, Sept. 4, the Virginia Tech Emergency Management Team will be at Gobblerfest.

Mulhare added he wants to make sure all students will “Be Hokie Ready” for the next emergency.

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