Is anyone else a little freaked out by the weather forecast?
A week after the South Island and Lower Mainland got absolutely wrecked by a rainstorm, three atmospheric rivers are lining up to kick us while we’re down.
Suddenly the folks who do the weather are the sexiest people on TV. And seriously, they’re doing their best to help people get prepared. But it’s really not their job.
So we watch the forecast. We buy batteries for the flashlight and an extra couple beers just in case. We call our family and friends to make sure they know what’s coming.
But seriously, when disaster hits, who do we call? The Ghostbusters?
The Provincial government spent the past week telling everyone that things like emergency alerts and evacuation plans are a local problem.
Go ahead, tell that to Sayward. I’m sure their town of 300 has the same kind of resources as the whole provincial government.
Most of the damage from last week’s storm happened in another part of the province. But it doesn’t mean we don’t feel how awful that must have been. It doesn’t mean people on VanIsle aren’t also scared that something like that might happen here.
And you know what? For a lot of things, the local level is probably the best place to get things done. We’re good at taking care of each other, even when the problem is happening somewhere else.
Take Port Alice, for example. The town has its own emergency page on Facebook. There are about 650 people in town and 450 people like the page. So when they publish a warning from Environment Canada, nearly every grownup in town sees it.
But wouldn’t it be better if everyone with a cellphone got the message? Even your teen who borrowed the car? Instead, we’ve got Mike Farnworth telling everyone that an emergency alert isn’t a “silver bullet.”
Well, duh. Of course, it isn’t. But it might have kept a few people off those roads that washed away.
And instead of the Province making a plan to get folks who were stuck on those roads, people organized their own helicopter rescues on Facebook while they sat stuck on the highway.
Sikh folks from the Dukh Nivaran Sahib Gurdwara in Surrey cooked thousands of meals and flew them out to people in the flood zones.
Spencer Coyne, the mayor of Princeton, is a pretty tough guy. His town is about the same size as Port McNeill, and the whole thing got totally flooded.
He told Global News that they’ve organized an “army of volunteers” who are cleaning out people’s ruined homes. He’s putting together events to help take people’s minds off things.
But he’s maxed out. And his community needs help.
It’s a good thing British Columbians are resourceful people.
Back at home, we can make our blackout emergency kits. We can sort out which relative will go get grandma if the power goes out.
But if you look for the flood evacuation plan in your town, you probably won’t find one.
If you want to know which rivers might flood, the best you’ll find is the BC River Forecast Centre. Right now it says that every river on VanIsle is under watch for high streamflow.
Well, ya don’t say.
Climate change is making the weather weirder. We’re going to have to stick together.
But we’ll also need a Provincial government that has a plan. Or maybe even a clue.
Because some bad things are too big for us to handle on our own. That’s not a weakness, it’s just life.
And it’s part of why we have governments in the first place.