Many people ill-prepared for emergency: ice storm report

A review of a devastating ice storm in northeast New Brunswick says many residents were ill-prepared for an emergency — and some responded to the crisis with fear and suspicion that put them in even greater danger.

The January storm loaded trees and power lines with ice, snapping power poles and leaving more than 130,000 people without power for days.

Two people died of carbon monoxide poisoning, while another 49 were hospitalized after using generators or barbecues inside homes and garages.

The report says rumours spread during the crisis that generators were being stolen, and people began using them in protected places — resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning.

The report also says people were less likely to leave for official shelter, and less inclined to welcome those doing door-to-door visits to check on residents' welfare.