British Columbians confuse pandemic preparedness with power outage preparedness – BC News

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One of the positive residents can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic is that more people are supplied and prepared for power outages, even though most do not have an emergency kit or plan.

A new survey by BC Hydro shows that nearly 20% of British Columbia residents believe they are better prepared for winter storms this year because of COVID-19. That sense of preparedness comes from stocking up on household items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, groceries, and alcohol – which 44% say they did.

The new report from BC Hydro shows that the severity and frequency of storms causing damage to the electrical system is increasing. Data shows a 117% increase in the number of such storms, from 52 in 2014 to 113 on average over the past three years.

Half of British Columbians are not going to public places due to the global crisis, but even though more residents are staying at home, more than half do not have an emergency preparedness kit. About 30% also admitted that they had taken no steps to prepare for an outage.

The report also reveals that residents of British Columbia have three main concerns: two-thirds worry about spoiling food in the fridge or freezer; 16 percent fear being cold; and nearly 10 percent are worried about their cell phone dying.

To prepare for a unique storm season this year, BC Hydro recommends:

  • Be Prepared: Have an emergency preparedness kit that will last at least 72 hours. The kit should include a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food, a flashlight and batteries and a battery for your cell phone, among others.
  • Have a plan: Make a plan for your family or household.
  • Staying Safe: A down line is an emergency, and customers should stand back at least 10 meters and call 9-1-1 immediately if they encounter one.

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