Surviving power outages

A couple of weeks after I wrote an editorial saying that Burns Lake doesn’t see much rain and thunderstorms, a storm brought gusty winds, causing power outages across northern B.C. In fact, the winds caused a tree to knock down a power line right in front of my building.

Fine, nature, I get the message. And I no longer miss the rain.

What was interesting to realize during this power outage, which lasted for about four hours for people living in the downtown core, is how helpless we can become without electricity.

When I got home I was immediately taken aback by the fact that I could not do any cooking on my electric stove. I simply stood there brainstorming how I could feed myself. After about 15 minutes, I realized that my only option was eating bread and peanut butter.

So I drove around town searching for a place to eat, but most of the restaurants were closed. A restaurant on the west end of town, however, was lucky enough to still have electricity.

Once I got there, I realized that basically half of the town’s residents had had the same thought, and they were all there waiting for their orders (I guess I wasn’t the only one with no supplies at home). So I decided to return home and eat bread and peanut butter. I think it’s safe to say I learned my lesson.

The River Forecast Centre issued a flood advisory for the Skeena River and tributaries including the Bulkley River last week. The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako advised residents to prepare an emergency kit for each family member, with enough supplies for up to one week.

This power outage only lasted four hours, but emergency situations can arise at any time during the year, and it’s not enough to think that our local governments and institutions will be able to protect us. It’s also up to us to ensure that we are prepared for any type of emergency.

But other than struggling to feed myself, I also realized how hard it is to entertain yourself without electricity. Most of us are used to being connected all the time, so not having Wi-Fi all of a sudden felt as if I was stranded on a desert island.

It was still daylight and so I was able to read a book. And for a while I was really proud of myself for making good use of the power outage. When the power finally came back, I was just getting ready to go to bed; but instead of going to bed, my reaction was to spend the next two hours online catching up on what I had missed during the power outrage.

But I had no emails. The world was still there. And I was starving.

Burns Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Community outbreak of COVID-19 confirmed on Haida Gwaii

Contact tracing has confirmed a total of 13 cases, according to Northern Health

Burns Lake couple escapes the Econo Lodge Fire in time

Escapes unharmed but loses their belongings

Travelling nuns spark social media panic in Burns Lake

The six Catholic nuns with Alberta plates were seen driving around from Prince Rupert to Burns Lake

Betty Stewart, the champion for Burns Lake’s only accessible playground

The woman who considers herself as just a coordinator while the community recognizes her efforts

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Wild’s Mathew Dumba makes anti-racism speech, kneels ahead of Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Matt Dumba, 26, took to center ice to speak on behalf of fellow members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance

Most Read