FILE – Like much of the Cowichan Valley, Chemainus saw falling trees and power lines as a result of the December 2018 storm. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)

Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages: report

Create an emergency kit, BC Hydro says, and report all outages or downed lines

B.C. recorded its most damaging winter storm last year, but most residents remain unprepared for storm-related power outages, according to a new BC Hydro report.

More than 750,000 customers were left in the dark for a number of days last December, with the hardest hit region being the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island.

Officials have cautioned that this kind of severe weather is only increasing in frequency, but a BC Hydro report suggests 60 per cent of people still aren’t prepared.

More than half still don’t have an emergency kit – including a majority of customers impacted by last year’s storm.

The utility encourages customers to have a well-stocked emergency kit with supplies for each member of the household for at least 72 hours. An emergency kit should include basic supplies, such as a flashlight, first aid kit, medications, non-perishable food and bottled water.

As winter makes its way across the province, the B.C. government is also urging residents to pull out all the stops in case of a weather emergency.

“Do you have a winterized road safety kit in your vehicle? Do you have flashlights and candles in case of a lengthy power outage?” Jennifer Rice, parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness, said in a statement.

READ MORE: Winter driving regulations in effect

READ MORE: Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts


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