Storm season is here to stay: get prepared
Wild weather arrived early this year with unusual September storm
B.C.'s winter storm season arrived earlier than expected, with wind gusts and heavy rain slamming British Columbia during the final weekend of September. More than 40 BC Ferries sailings were cancelled, and over 30,000 BC Hydro customers lost power during the unseasonal storm.
Now that we've reached November, it's business as usual and that means storm season is here to stay. Whenever there are storms, the potential for power outages increases.
In fact, in stormy winter months, our team generally receives around double the number of trouble calls from customers with power out, compared to the rest of the year.
During outages, BC Hydro is committed to get the lights back on as quickly and safely as possible and to keep customers informed during the process.
But it's important to be prepared in the event of a power outage, just in case.
How to be prepared for an outage
Knowing what to do before an outage occurs is an important first step. Having the right information and supplies on hand will ensure you're prepared, even in the event of a prolonged outage. They're rare, but they do happen.
A few key tips will help you be prepared for outages this storm season:
- Have an emergency plan and share it with your family.
- Prepare an emergency kit, and ensure it's well stocked. Check out tips on what to include.
- Make sure you have access to local emergency contact numbers.
- If you plan to use a portable generator, regularly review the important safety information and manufacturer's instructions.
- Get more outage preparation tips and use the Home Outage Preparation Checklist [PDF, 78 KB].
Where to get the latest restoration updates
When the power goes out, we're committed to getting you the information that you need. You can find the latest outage info and restoration updates even when the power goes out:
- On our mobile-friendly website, at bchydro.com on your mobile device. You can view outages by map or see a list of current outages.
- By dialing *HYDRO (*49376) on your cell, or by dialing 1 888 POWERON (1 888 769 3766) on a corded landline. Remember that cordless landline handsets won't work in a power outage; you generally need a landline that connects directly to your phone line.
- Local media such as radio stations will also issue updates in the event of major outages.
How to report a power outage
Did you know that BC Hydro usually isn't aware that your power is out until you call us?
As we complete the installation of the new system across the province, we're asking all customers to continue to call us to report power outages. Once the modernized system is fully in place, it will help us get your lights back on faster and safer in the event of a power outage.
For now, please continue to phone 1 888 POWERON or dial *HYDRO (*49376) on your cell. You can also report an outage online through MyHydro (using your mobile device).
Calling us to report outages is about more than letting us know that the power is out. You often have important information that helps pinpoint the cause of the outage. For example, your calls let us know if there are trees or branches on a line, if you see broken distribution poles, or if you see problems with transformers. All that information helps our crews restore the power as quickly and as safely as possible.