A new report from B.C. Hydro found that Lower Mainlanders want their phones and entertainment more than anything or anyone else during power outages.
Nearly three-quarters of Lower Mainlanders said having access to their cell phone is ‘important’ or ‘very important’ compared to 65 per cent of Vancouver Islanders, 67 per cent of folks in the Southern Interior and 49 per cent of Northerners.
Mainlanders are also the most likely to use those phones for online entertainment during an outage. Thirteen per cent of Mainlanders said they’d rather be without their partner for a day during an outage than their cell phone likely because when there’s an outage, nothing is more annoying than a partner who talks through an entire movie.
B.C. Hydro said Lower Mainlanders are ‘overconfident and underprepared’ for storm-related power outages. Their report found over half of Lower Mainlanders are confident in their preparations for an outage, but were the least likely to have emergency kits or preparations at home.
In contrast, Northern B.C. sees the most storm-related outages and is the best prepared. At the same time, Northerners are less confident in their region’s ability to weather storms.
The report comes as B.C. has grappled with an unusually early and wet storm season. B.C. has already seen two atmospheric rivers, a bomb cyclone and tornado activity. According to Environment Canada, B.C. experienced nearly 300 per cent of its usual rainfall in September—151 mm compared to the usual 51 mm.
B.C. Hydro said storms are the ‘new norm’ across the province, adding that they have seen a 117 per cent increase in storms they have responded to over the past several years, rising from 52 in 2014 to an average of 113 over the past few years.
Being prepared for outages is more important than ever. B.C. Hydro recommends all homes have a kit with flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, medications, non-perishable food and bottled water. There should be enough supplies to last at least 72 hours.
For more information on how to prepare for storm-related power outages, visit bchydro.com/getprepared.
Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.