VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Most of us in B.C. are said to be well-stocked at home these days on material goods because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but our large caches of toilet paper, wet-wipes, and alcohol won’t get us through a major outage, BC Hydro warns.
The utility says there’s been a rise over the past several years in its response to storm-related outages.
Many British Columbians feel more prepared for storm-related power outages after stocking up on household supplies for #COVID19, despite most not having an emergency kit or plan. New report: https://t.co/697l9wsSjl #BCStorm pic.twitter.com/GVN0Fa2T8E
— BC Hydro (@bchydro) November 13, 2020
And while an abundance of hand sanitizer, groceries, and disinfectant wipes may be helpful if we’re shut-in because of COVID-19, Susie Rieder with BC Hydro says these types of items won’t really help when the power goes out.
“What they really should be stocking up on for storm season is making sure they have an emergency preparedness kit with things like a first-aid kit, batteries, a flashlight, enough water for each individual of the household for 72-hours,” she says.
According to BC Hydro, a recent survey has found nearly 20 per cent of people in B.C. “think they are more prepared for winter storms this year because of COVID-19.”
But the most popular items British Columbians have admitted to stocking up on include disinfectant wipes and personal hygiene products — many of which aren’t listed as the regular items recommended for an emergency kit.
“Nearly a quarter admit to stocking up on alcohol,” Rieder says.
This, she worries, has left many with a false sense of security in the event of a power outage, pointing out that our lingering pandemic also leaves people with fewer options to pass the time if the lights go out.
The option of riding out a storm in a public place, like a movie theatre or other facility that has power, might not be possible this year due to shutdowns and COVID-19 restrictions, Rieder notes.
-With files from Lasia Kretzel