It’s important to always take tornado and thunderstorm warnings seriously.

That’s the message Madawaska Valley’s Fire Chief Corwin Quade wants to get across in the wake of the severe thunderstorms and tornadoes that hit eastern Ontario last week. Environment Canada has confirmed six tornadoes touched down, with one hitting Calabogie. “The main thing is you need to take it (the warnings) seriously,” Quade says.

Quade says take every house should have a 72 hour preparedness kit. That should include non-perishable food, water, a flashlight and a battery powered radio. He says that crews could take up to 72 hours to reach you depending on the severity of the storm.

Quade adds that during power outages, call 511 and they can help you through the outage. They’ll be able to help you find shelter or food, if you need it.

Quade adds that for people living in an apartment, or someone living where there isn’t a basement to go into during a tornado, get to an enclosed space. Quade suggests the closet since there are no windows and you can shut yourself in it. He says you should also get into the bathtub and cover yourself with a blanket or quilt to shield you from debris. “Make you have a place to go within seconds because when a tornado hits, they’re quick,” Quade says.

Quade says there’s minimal damage in Barry’s Bay. After power was fully restored to people in Madawaska Valley, it’s down to cleaning up the trees that fell during the storm, Quade says.