You asked, we’re answering: What to do the next time a tornado warning is issued

When tornado warnings were issued late Wednesday night, many of you turned to social media asking what you should do to stay safe. Here’s the answer.

By: Tim Studebaker

Facebook: @TStudebakerABC6

Twitter: @TStudebakerABC6


NEW BEDFORD, MASS. (WLNE) – You asked, we’re answering.  During the height of the storm late Wednesday night, when tornado warnings were issued for southeastern Massachusetts, many of you turned to social media to ask how you can stay safe during a tornado warning.  It may not happen very often, but we want you to be prepared for next time.

The threat is over now, but as Ida’s remnants swept across the Northeast Wednesday, images of flooding and possible tornadoes started streaming in from places like New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.  Then overnight, it was southern New England’s turn.  Along with flooding concerns, several tornado warnings were issued overnight in southeastern Massachusetts.

Chris Arsenault, known to radio listeners as “Gazelle” from FUN107 says, “I’ve never been in a situation like this before. Neither has most of the Southcoast here.”

Arsenault lives on the Southcoast and is one of thousands of people there who woke up to that alert.

Arsenault says, “I just know as a kid they said to go underneath something, and to stay away from windows. That’s all I knew, and I realized ‘wow I really don’t know what to do in a situation like this.’”

He says the alert on his phone instructed him to seek shelter in the basement immediately.

Arsenault says, “That’s when I said ‘Alright, it’s serious, I gotta get to the basement right now.’”

That was exactly the right move. The safest place to be during a tornado is underground.  If that’s not an option, go to the lowest level of a sturdy building, not a mobile home, and head to an interior room with no windows.  Try to put as many walls between you and the outside as possible.

Arsenault says, “Your best bet is to just take precaution. It’s not going to hurt you.”

For more information, including what to do if you’re outside when a warning is issued, visit FEMA’s website:

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2021

Categories: New Bedford, News