Lower Mainlanders less ready for storm season than others in B.C.

While more than half of those who live in the Lower Mainland think their region is the most prepared when it comes to storm-related power outages, the exact opposite is true, according to a new BC Hydro report.

Amid B.C. dealing with the effects of its third "weather bomb" in a mere few weeks, the provincial hydro agency released a report outlining the lack of preparedness and overconfidence of many residents for storm-related power outages, especially those residing in the Lower Mainland.

Unveiled Tuesday, Ready, set, storm: How preparedness for storm-related power outages varies across B.C. found that more than half of those who live in the Lower Mainland think their region is the most prepared for storm-related power outages.

However, results of the survey indicated otherwise: Lower Mainlanders are actually the least likely to have ensured their preparedness for storm-related outages or to have an emergency kit at home.

RELATED: 'Perfect storm' for power outages brewing in B.C., hydro report says

“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 a news release. “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.”

Tree downed/BC Hydro Twitter

(BC Hydro/Twitter)

According to BC Hydro, those residing in northern B.C. are most likely to experience numerous power outages in a year, and are also the most likely to have taken action to prepare for outages (62 per cent) and have an emergency kit (56 per cent).

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People on Vancouver Island are not far behind, coming in a close second in preparation (58 per cent) and having an emergency kit (53 per cent). On the other hand, just 22 per cent of Vancouver Islanders believe their region is most readied overall for storm-related outages.

Not only are Lower Mainlanders found to be the lease likely to be ready, but are also more reliant on cellphones during a storm-related power outage than those on other regions, the BC Hydro report stated. Almost 75 per cent said having access to their mobile 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 northern B.C. residents.

BC Hydro tree down windstorm

(BC Hydro/Twitter)

Another noteworthy statistic in the report is that it said people in the Lower Mainland are the most likely of any region to use their phone for online entertainment during a power out outage. As well, 13 per cent of Lower Mainlanders also stated they would rather go without their partner for a day during a power outage than their cellphone -- the highest of any region.

BC Hydro's checklist offers tips on getting your home ready for an outage, and provides information on what to do before, during and after the electrical shutdown.

The provincial hydro company recommends every resident have a well-stocked emergency kit handy, containing supplies for every member of the household for at least 72 hours. The emergency kit should include the following:

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  • flashlight

  • extra batteries

  • first aid kit

  • required medications

  • non-perishable food

  • bottled water

Click here for current outages and here for information on preparing for storm-related power outages.

Thumbnail courtesy of BC Hydro/Twitter.

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