With storm season upon us, Oak Bay Fire Department helps residents get prepared with a few tips in anticipation of the wind and rain to come.
Start by surveying the outside of your home and secure garbage cans, lawn furniture or anything else that could become airborne and cause damage, advises Capt. Rob Kivell, from Oak Bay fire’s prevention department.
Clean gutters, storm drains, etc., keeping drains clear of trash, leaves and branches, so rainwater can flow easily, reducing the possibility of flooding and ponding.
Raking leaves will also cut down on flying debris and help prevent clogged storm drains.
With a West Coast winter, expect power outages throughout the season.
Downed trees also present the potential for downed power lines – stay clear, Kivell advises.
As severe weather arrives, stay at home and have flashlights and extra batteries, plus a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio in case power goes out.
Ensure mobile phones are fully charged and consider pulling out your land-line phone, Kivell suggests.
With the potential of longer-term power outages, Kivell advises being prepared for at least three days.
Have available food that doesn’t need refrigeration and one gallon of water per person per day.
Other important items to have readily available include a first-aid kit, medication, pet food and medications and other critical supplies.
Top off fuel tanks in your vehicles and have cash on hand in case ATMs are down due to power outages.
Before the storm, store water in big pans and the bathtub for personal use in case of a longer-term power outage.
Finally, “have a communications plan. Make sure all family members understand who to call if you get separated,” Kivell says.
For additional information on preparing for storm season or other emergenices, contact Oak Bay fire at 250-592-9121.