We easily forget how dependent we are on the power grid. It’s hard to imagine what life would actually be like without electricity. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen or that we shouldn’t be prepared for this type of emergency.
Power outages can easily happen. At the end of 2017, snow and ice storms did plenty of damage to homes and the electricity supply for people living in the Fraser Valley. In places like Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack, people were without power for several days while crews worked around the clock to restore power lines.
When freezing rain happens, the heavy build-up of ice can break tree branches, down power lines, and damage homes. This kind of storm can disrupt life for days at a time. If you live in the Fraser Valley, it’s a good idea to take precautions so that if a storm hits, you’ll be safe and prepared to hunker down for at least several days.
If there is a storm in the forecast, here are the precautions you should take.
Before the storm:
- Fill up your car’s gas tank.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings.
- Clear outdoor hazards like weak branches on trees and bring inside or tie down anything that could fly away (ie. patio furniture, toys, gardening tools, etc.)
- Stock an emergency kit with non-perishable food, plenty of water, a flashlight, candles and matches, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
During the storm:
- Stay inside. If you must go outside, stay covered as much as possible and pay close attention to avoid flying branches, debris and loose wires.
- Never, ever touch power lines.
- Limit the amount of electricity you are using indoors.
After the storm:
- Again: never, ever touch power lines.
- Clear your property of ice and snow, and sand or salt the ground.
- Check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours.
If there is a power outage:
- Check your circuit breaker panel or fuse box to rule out any problems.
- Dress in layers and stay warm.
- Retain heat by making sure windows are sealed and stuffing towels under the doors.
- Do not operate generators, BBQs, propane and natural gas appliances inside the home or garage as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Test to ensure your fire detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
- Unplug electronics and appliances to avoid surges.
- Turn the lights off except for one so you can tell when the power is restored.
- Don’t open your freezer or fridge unless absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if doors stay closed.
- Stay hydrated, prolong your battery power as much as possible and conserve your energy.
If you are experiencing any kind of disruption to your power supply, in an ice storm or wind storm, don’t hesitate to call BPM Electric. We service the Fraser Valley and our crew is always ready and on call in emergency situations.