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Are You Ready for the Next Blackout?

November 21, 2014 - Updated: November 21, 2014

Power outages are infrequent, and tend to be short, but each household should create an emergency plan, in case a prolonged outage occurs.  This Emergency Preparedness Guide shows how quick and easy it is to be ready for a winter emergency.


72-hour Emergency Kit Checklist

These are the most essential items that a family needs to prepare for up to 72 hours without access to hydro.  


Food and Water:

This is the most important component of any preparedness plan.  An extended outage due to weather may leave residents unable to travel a significant distance for supplies. Here is what you should have on hand:

  • Bottled water - a handy rule is to have 3 liters, per person per day
  • Non-perishable, ready-to-eat foods that should be easy to prepare if there is no electricity
  • Manual can opener to help serve food
  • Disposable plates, glasses and utensils to serve meals


For Babies, Infants and Young Children:

For households with babies or young children, it is essential to have the following on hand:

  • Formula and bottles
  • Diapers and baby wipes
  • Medication


For Pets:

When preparing for outages, pets should also be considered. Key items to have on hand include:

  • Food, water and bowls
  • Medications and records of vaccination
  • Contact information for local animal shelters
  • Leash, harness and muzzle if needed
  • Necessary ID tags and licenses


First-Aid and Medications:

Hopefully these items will not be required, but should certainly be on hand as a precaution:

  • First-aid kit stocked with band-aids and disinfectant wipes
  • A one-week supply of critical medications and copies of all prescriptions, to ensure that no complications occur
  • Cooler bag with ice packs to keep medications cold, and to assist in treating injuries


Sanitation Supplies:

During extended outages, maintaining sanitation is key, and can be achieved with the following items:

  • Sturdy bucket or trash container that could be used as an emergency toilet
  • Powdered chlorinated lime, household disinfectant, and insecticide
  • Household water purifying tablets or liquid bleach
  • Reseal-able plastic bags
  • Sufficient hand sanitizer


Basic Tools and Supplies:

In any outage, basic tools and supplies come in handy to maintain communication, and lighting when needed.

  • Flashlights with fully charged batteries
  • A small shovel
  • Local road maps
  • Cash for emergency purchases
  • Radio (wind-up or battery-operated)
  • Needle and thread
  • Pens or pencils and a pad of paper
  • Fire extinguisher
  • A corded telephone (one that can work without power)
  • Lighters or matches (in a waterproof container)
  • Simple tool kit: utility knife, duct tape, wrench, garbage bags, pliers, screwdriver, aluminum foil, paper towels
  • Signal flares and/or a whistle (to attract attention)

Having these items in your home will help to make an uncomfortable and inconvenient situation bearable and will prepare you for the next blackout.

Tagged with: prepare for winter blackout toronto ice storm power outage emergency checklist royal lepage terrequity realty realtor real estate tips article
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