OUR VIEW: Let’s all be better prepared for next time

It’s sobering that it only takes a strong wind to show us how thin the veneer of civilization is for a society so reliant on devices.

In the wake of the severe windstorm that hit the Lower Mainland last weekend – and the subsequent power failures that left thousands of BC Hydro customers without electricity – one has to wonder what an honest-to-goodness crisis in this region would look like.

Although one can’t minimize the damage the violent gusts wreaked on trees and adjacent powerlines, this was not, after all, a tornado, an earthquake or a tsunami.

It’s sobering that it only takes a strong wind to show us how thin the veneer of civilization is for a society so reliant on electrical devices.

The laugh was on us – and it wasn’t simply a matter of being without lights.

Many realized quickly that all their lines of communication – not to mention information and diversion – were instantly severed or subject to very finite limits.

Computers were down, big-screen TVs were out. Even such rechargeables as cellphones, iPods, iPads and laptops were quickly running out of juice – sending people running for places to plug in.

Traffic signals were out, increasing the dangers of travel for those seeking electrical relief. Garage doors would not open and people were stranded outside of apartment buildings that could not be accessed other than by a key-pad.

Refrigerator and freezers full of food were spoiling within hours after the power went off, and the appeal of using the family barbecue as the only cooking option quickly paled. Restaurants, if they were fortunate enough to have power, enjoyed an unexpected business bonanza as people went out for meals and lingered in coffee shops.

All these are First World problems, indeed – and would be laughable, if they didn’t point out just how vulnerable, ill-prepared we are for any deviation from our comfortable norms, let alone the kinds of tragic devastation that we have seen visited on other parts of the world.

When we are suddenly denied the comforts of our technology addicted society, we need to use it as an opportunity to test our self-reliance. We would be foolish indeed if we didn’t let this latest incident serve as a lesson to renew our emergency supplies, and make sure we are equipped with survival basics.

We should make sure we are all equipped with adequate amounts of non-perishable, nutritionally sound food, water, cooking and boiling facilities, first-aid kits and lighting and communication devices capable of working off-grid, to enable us and our families to survive a protracted period – a week, at least – without being a drain on the help of outside agencies.

Black Press

Just Posted

Noted fiddlers bring kids to Surrey stage for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’ concert

Bell theatre date for Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy as they reunite for 23-city tour of Canada

Surrey-based business donates $1M to hospital’s children centre improvements

Surrey Hospital Foundation kicks off campaign for ‘transformation’ of children’s centre

OUR VIEW: Surrey’s unsung heroes inspire

The Now-Leader was proud to celebrate some deserving unsung heroes in this city on Wednesday night

North Delta family raising money for brain cancer treatment

23-year-old Tashina Janus and her family are raising funds to get her immunotherapy in the U.S.

Surrey opera singer brings Mozart’s ‘Così fan tutte’ to Vancouver stage

Nancy Hasiuk-Lay has been hailed for her ‘sparkling and crystalline vocal tone’

Metro Vancouver mayors cancel Surrey LRT in favour of SkyTrain

Surrey mayor claims he can extend Skytrain for the $1.65 billion already committed to light rail

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

Lower Mainland couple missing in Thompson-Okanagan area

Barriere RCMP received a missing persons report for two senior overdue travellers

Vancouver Warriors cancel first 2 weeks of season as labour dispute continues

The announcement means games scheduled for Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 will no longer be played

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Judge rules against ALC on rural B.C. subdivision

The ALC can’t change the definition of an acre, the judge ruled.

Friends describe murder victim as ‘most caring guy we knew’

Jagvir Malhi of Abbotsford was not involved in gangs or criminal activity, they say

Most Read