Although windstorms are not frequent in the Metro Vancouver area, it’s best to be prepared, as they can be hazardous and cause a significant amount of damage. Environment Canada issues wind warnings for coastal regions when forecasters expect sustained winds to reach speeds of 70 kilometres per hour, or gusts of wind to reach 90 kilometres per hour. Winds at these speeds are capable of breaking tree branches, or uprooting or breaking entire trees, which can lead to power outages, property damage, and blocked roads.
Before the storm
- Be informed. Check weather forecasts via radio, television, websites, and social media.
- Make sure your emergency kit is always ready and easily accessible. It should contain enough food and water for at least 72 hours, as well as medications, warm clothing, supplies for children and pets, flashlights, batteries, a hand-crank radio, and some cash.
- Tie down anything that might be torn or blown away by the wind, such as garden furniture, garbage cans, etc.
- Prune dead branches from trees, and cut down dead trees. A certified arborist can check tree health and help with pruning or removal. If a tree on municipal property looks like it might be a hazard, please call City of Port Moody Operations at 604-469-4574.
- Identify places where you and your family can shelter.
During the storm
- If you are indoors, stay there, and stay well away from any windows, exterior doors, or fireplaces.
- Avoid using an elevator, in case of a power outage.
- If you are outside, head indoors as quickly as possible. Never take shelter under a tree, in case of falling branches or lightning.
- If you are in a car, stop the car away from trees or power lines that might fall on you. Avoid the base of steep or unstable slopes, and low areas prone to flooding. Stay inside the car until the danger passes.
- Boaters should avoid being on the water and ensure their boats are secured.
- If you are indoors, you can use a cell or cordless phone, but stay away from land-line telephones with cords in case of lightning.
- Report power outages to BC Hydro by calling 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376), or *HYDRO (*49376) on your mobile phone.
After the wind dies down
- Check your property for damage, and clear away debris from rain gutters and catch basins. Watch out for broken glass.
- When walking around outdoors, look up to check for hazards. Broken tree branches may hang dangerously overhead.
- If you see a downed or damaged wire, call 9-1-1 and ask for Fire. Always assume a downed or damaged power line is live, and stay back at least 10 metres.
- Report fallen trees, branches, and other debris on municipal property by calling City of Port Moody Operations at 604-469-4574.
- Continue to check radio, television, websites, or social media for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
- Be a good neighbour. Help people who may require special assistance, such as parents with small children, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
If you see a downed, damaged power line or pole dial 911
We want you to be aware of the dangers of fallen power lines and know what to do if you were to come across one. It all comes down to three simple words: 'Down. Danger. Dial.'; meaning if you come across a downed line, consider it a danger, stay back at least 10 metres and dial 911 immediately.
For more information, visit the BC Hydro website.