B.C. windstorm: what you need for the next emergency

WATCH: In the event of a massive storm like the one this past weekend, South Coast residents are advised to be prepared to survive up to 72 hours without power. Catherine Urquhart has more.

A massive power outage over the weekend is serving as a reminder about the importance of being prepared for an emergency.

As hundreds of thousands went without power for much of the weekend, it became increasingly evident that many had little experience dealing with an emergency.

Dorit Mason of the North Shore Emergency Management Office is urging everyone to get supplies to be self-sufficient for 72 hours.

READ MORE: ‘Absolutely a wake-up call’: Metro Vancouverites adapt without power

She suggests people have a ‘grab-and-go kit‘ that contains items like food, water and other supplies.

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What’s enough water? Four litres per person per day, according to Mason.

For safety reasons, you’re advised to opt for items like light sticks and flashlights instead of candles.

WATCH: Analyzing Metro Vancouverites’ storm response

Items such as barbecues and generators should be kept outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

“The ability to communicate with others is also critical,” said Mason. “We recommend that you have radios: a wind-up radio, or if you don’t have that, at least having [one] with batteries.”

A charged cellphone proved to be a major priority for many people during this weekend’s blackout, prompting visits to local malls to recharge.

If you’re hoping to avoid a dead cellphone in future emergencies, a charger with a hand-crank is recommended.

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READ MORE: What you need to know about food storage in a power outage

It’s also important to have some cash at hand in case ATMs aren’t working.

“What we’ve learned from this event is really having the community prepare themselves for emergencies,” said Mason.

“You may not have power during that time, so be prepared to be on your own. It’s critical.”

-With files from Catherine Urquhart