Get Prepared for Severe Weather in British Columbia
Severe weather - thunderstorms, hail, blizzards, ice storms, high winds or heavy rain - can happen without warning and in any season.
With severe weather often comes a loss of power, so be prepared to be on your own by developing an emergency plan, putting together your emergency kit and connecting with your neighbours (PDF, 2.55MB).
- Have a battery-operated radio.
- This allows you to listen to your local station for warnings, advice and instructions.
- Stow flashlights with extra batteries.
- Winterize your home.
- Insulate walls and attics.
- Weather-strip doors and windows.
- Clear rain gutters.
- Remove tree branches that could fall during strong winds.
- Inspect your chimney or flue.
- This helps prevent structural fires and ensures smoke, carbon monoxide and other potentially harmful gases are properly vented.
- Make sure you have an adequate supply of food and water
- BCHydro suggests that if the power is out for less than four hours, the food in your fridge and freezer will be safe to consume.
- If the power is out for longer than four hours, follow BCHydro’s guidelines on making your food supply last as long as possible.
- Fireplaces, wood stoves, barbecues and camp stoves can be used for emergency cooking. DO NOT use barbecues or camp stoves indoors due to the high risk of carbon monoxide build-up.
Shift into winter every year with DriveBC's Prepare Your Vehicle checklist and make sure you’re ready for bad weather while on the road. Preparing your vehicle includes packing a winter survival kit. Recommended items include:
- Emergency kit containing non-perishable food, blankets and first aid supplies
- Windshield scraper and snow brush
- Extra windshield washer fluid
- Spare tire, wheel wrench and jack
- Shovel and traction mat, sand or kitty litter
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Battery jumper cables
- Extra clothing and footwear
- Flares and matches or lighter
- Fuel line antifreeze
- Tire chains and gloves
Planning your route and keeping up-to-date with weather information is a core component of severe weather preparedness. Recommended weather alert sources include:
ECCC Weather B.C: Canada’s official weather and climate source.
B.C. Weather Alerts: Public weather alerts for British Columbia.
DriveBC: Highway conditions, highway cams and delay information.
DriveBC Weather Information: Route forecasts and current conditions.
Call toll-free 1-800-550-4997 for BC road information 24 hours-a-day.