Get prepared for stormy weather

ENVIRONMENT and Climate Change Canada has indicated that an intense, low-pressure system is headed toward northern Vancouver Island, bringing strong southeasterly winds for the South Coast on Sunday afternoon through to Monday.

The Province urges British Columbians on Vancouver Island and the South Coast to be prepared for the possibility of heavy rain and strong winds.

For up-to-date public weather alerts, visit Environment and Climate Change Canada’s website:

Here are a number of tips and actions people living in these regions can take to prepare for the potentially stormy day ahead:

* Strong winds can down trees (especially those weakened by drought conditions) and power lines.
* Everyone should be mindful of the danger of falling trees.

* During a power outage or other disruption to infrastructure, you may need to cope at home for a prolonged period without access to amenities like electricity or tap water. To prepare for this, build a household emergency kit with enough non-perishable food, water and supplies that will support your household for a week or longer. Make sure it’s stored in an easily accessible location that everyone knows about.

* Protect your home from potential floods by clearing out your gutters, maintaining perimeter drains, making sure downspouts are far enough away from your residence, and checking nearby storm water drains on your street are free of leaves and blockage. Store valuables and important items or documents in water-tight containers or in higher places, like on a tall shelf or upper floor.

* Develop an emergency plan. Knowing what to do will reduce anxiety and help keep you focused and safe.

* Know your neighbours that may require extra care and check in on them.

* If your lights go out, check to see whether BC Hydro is already aware of the outage by visiting
* If your outage isn’t listed, call 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376), or *49376 (*HYDRO) on your mobile phone. You can also log in to your BC Hydro account to report an outage online.

* Torrential rains can cause overland flooding and creeks and rivers to quickly overflow.
* Avoid these water channels because they tend to fill up quickly. River banks that look stable can be eroded beneath the surface, causing unstable ground that could collapse.

* Keep children and pets away from stream banks and watch for changing conditions, particularly if you live in low-lying areas or near waterways.

* Drive carefully and never attempt to drive through floodwater.
* The depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water and sink holes could exist but be unseen.

* 152 millimetres (six inches) of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling, while 305 millimetres (one foot) of water will float many vehicles.

* If a car begins to flood, abandon it quickly and head to higher ground.

Learn More:

For information on preparing for severe weather, visit:

For guidance on preparing for potential flooding, visit:

Drivers are encouraged to check ( for the most up-to-date information before travelling