City Encourages Residents To Prepare For Storm Season
With the first major storm behind us and a high likelihood of more to come this winter, Port Coquitlam is encouraging residents to make sure they are prepared in advance of the next emergency.
While there is no way to predict exactly when and how Port Coquitlam will be affected, severe weather events are becoming more of the norm and local residents and businesses are urged to be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
To do so, residents are encouraged to visit portcoquitlam.ca/ep, which includes an electronic version of the City’s “Are You Prepared?” guide that explains what to do before, during and after a major emergency such as a major storm, earthquake or flood. Printed copies are also available at City facilities. Other resources include a business emergency preparedness toolkit and free community courses offered throughout the year.
Tips for getting prepared:
- Review the resources at portcoquitlam.ca/ep and consider signing up for a free course.
- Create an emergency plan that every household member knows, and practice it regularly. The plan should include information on how to shut off the electricity and natural gas, safe meeting places outside the home, an out-of-province contact, and plans for pets and livestock.
- Prepare to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours: If the power goes off, it may take hours or even days for it to be restored. Always have at least a three-day’s supply of food and water on hand for each family member, along with a windup or battery-powered radio, flashlight and batteries, extra prescription medications, copies of important papers, and warm clothing and waterproof footwear for every family member.
- Pack up extra supplies, keys, contact information and copies of critical paperwork in a portable grab and go kit (e.g. a backpack) that you could take with you if necessary. Store it in an easy-to-reach place and make sure everyone knows where it is.
Tips for before a major storm:
- Clear away leaves and debris from nearby catch basin grates to prevent flooding on your and neighbouring properties.
- Move personal items from low lying areas to prevent loss.
- Move your vehicle to street level parking if parked in an underground parkade.
- Charge devices and rechargeable battery packs before the storm hits. If you have a portable generator, make sure you know how to use it safely and never run it inside the home or in an enclosed space. Battery-operated lighting is safer than candles.
- Ensure each family member has identification. Name tags on children’s clothing, wallet cards and wristbands are useful in case you are separated. Remind everyone of the location of your family emergency meeting place.
Tips for during a major storm:
- Report flooding, trees of concern, fallen branches or other issues on City property to Public Works online at portcoquitlam.ca/report, email email@example.com, call 604-927-5496 or through the PoCo Sort and Report App (download at portcoquitlam.ca/sortreport). Trees on private property are the owner’s responsibility.
- Report downed power lines to 911 and BC Hydro: 1-888-POWER-ON. If you come across a downed or damaged power line, stay back at least 10 metres (30 feet).
- Only call 911 when there is imminent danger to people or property, and immediate police or fire assistance is required. This includes incidents related to an ongoing emergency, fire or crime in progress, or suspicious people in the area.
- Call the non-emergency numbers for Coquitlam RCMP (604-945-1550) or Fire & Emergency Services (604-927-5466) when there is no immediate emergency.
- Limit travel when possible. If absolutely necessary, drive, bike or walk carefully, and do not enter flooded roads or pathways. Watch for debris and use four-way stop procedures at intersections when signals aren’t working.
- Limit opening your fridge and freeze to preserve food if you are impacted by a power outage. If the power is out for an extended period, carefully inspect all food and do not eat any food you think may not be safe. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Check on neighbours who may need help, such as seniors, people with special needs, or families with young children.
For additional information monitor the City’s website and social media accounts for additional information and visit portcoquitlam.ca/sportsfields for field closure information and status updates or call 604-927-5455 for a recorded message.
For information about Port Coquitlam’s Emergency Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-927-5460.
Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam