News release

Lower Mainlanders less prepared for storm season than other British Columbians

VANCOUVER: A new BC Hydro report finds many British Columbians are overconfident and underprepared for storm-related power outages, especially those who live in the Lower Mainland.

The report titled, "Ready, set, storm: How preparedness for storm-related power outages varies across B.C.,[PDF, 121 KB] finds over half of those who live in the Lower Mainland think their region is the most prepared for storm-related power outages. However, the survey found Lower Mainlanders are the least likely to have taken steps to prepare for storm-related outages, or to have an emergency kit at home.

“While most British Columbians think fall and winter storms are getting worse, some regions are more prepared than others for storm-related power outages,” said Kyle Donaldson, BC Hydro spokesperson. “In fact, regions that experience more frequent storm events and the most power outages tend to be most prepared, but less confident in some cases.”

People in northern B.C. are the most likely to experience multiple outages in a year and are also the most likely to have taken steps to prepare for outages (62 per cent) and have an emergency kit (56 per cent). Vancouver Islanders are a close second in preparation (58 per cent) and having an emergency kit (53 per cent). However, just 22 per cent of Vancouver Islanders think their region is the most prepared overall for storm-related outages.

During a storm-related power outage, Lower Mainlanders are also more dependent than people in other regions on their mobile phones. Nearly three-quarters said having access to their cell phone is ‘important’ or ‘very important’ during an outage, compared to 65 per cent of Vancouver Islanders, 67 per cent of Southern Interior residents, and 49 per cent of Northerners. People in the Lower Mainland are the most likely of any region to use their phone for online entertainment (Netflix, YouTube, etc.) during an outage. Thirteen per cent of Lower Mainlanders also said they would rather go without their partner for a day during a power outage than their cell phone – the highest of any region.

No matter which region you live in, BC Hydro encourages customers to be prepared for storm-related power outages. BC Hydro’s outage checklist [PDF, 78.4 KB] provides guidance on preparing your home for an outage and ensuring you know what to do before during and after a power outage.

BC Hydro recommends having 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 and extra batteries,
  • first aid kit,
  • required medications,
  • non-perishable food and
  • bottled water.

For more information on how to prepare for storm-related power outages, visit bchydro.com/getprepared.