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EDITORIAL: What’s the worst winter storm you remember?

Make a plan for winter weather
Like much of the Cowichan Valley, Chemainus saw falling trees and power lines as a result of the December 2018 storm. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)

Are you prepared for stormy weather this winter?

Over the summer we get lulled into a false sense of security with long days bright with sunshine. But snow, rain and wind here once again and it’s time to either dust off your emergency supplies or go and get some.

BC Hydro reminded us last week that some of the worst storms British Columbia has ever experienced have come in the last five years.

You can probably remember a few of them.

In the No. 1 slot is the pre-Christmas windstorm of 2018. We’ve never seen anything quite like it, as it took more than a week for some people to get power back.

In the No. 2 slot is an early November windstorm in 2022. At No. 3 is a windstorm early in November of this year that saw power outages once again dot the map like measles. And at No. 4 is the atmospheric river in 2021 that flooded swathes of the province. For context, the portion of the Malahat washed away in that storm has only just fully reopened.

We bet a lot of people think about going out to get supplies during these storms, but the impulse to do so quickly fades once the power comes back on, bringing with it the lights, heat and entertainment devices.

But it’s important to be prepared should you have to go a few days without power. Having food on hand that you can prepare during such occasions can make the situation considerably less dire, and having a plan for heat is equally important. It’s not a bad idea to invest in a generator, if you can afford it, along with batteries, candles, lanterns and the like.

It’s also a good idea to think about other people in your neighbourhood. Is there an elderly person, perhaps, that you should plan to check on if there’s a storm? Having a pre-arranged network to fall back on can be a life saver.

Hydro warns that due to damage to trees from last summer’s extended drought, they are expecting the coming storm season could prove to be a bad one. So take a minute and make a plan, or at least remember where you last put the flashlight.

— Black Press