A wind storm in November 2014 cut power to a home just up the street from my house. Power outages and other utility disruptions are becoming more and more common from a variety of causes. Source: CBC News.
When discussing disaster preparedness, people often associate the subject with the survivalist movement. Although some individuals take disaster preparedness to the extreme in anticipation of a zombie invasion or the next global pandemic, there are more realistic scenarios such as extreme weather events for which all home owners should be ready.
In 2013 my neighbourhood in Toronto lost power for over 48 hours twice in the space of six months. The first was in July after a freak rainstorm dropped more rain in two hours than anticipated in two months on the City. Transit was incapacitated, sewers overwhelmed and electrical substations submerged. After walking two hours to get home from the center of the City I was greeted by a fridge and freezer full of food that would spoil despite our best efforts and all-meat dinners. Although the air-conditioning was out, we were still able to stay in our home overnight but we were without hot water as our power-vented water heater could not run its fan.
Kate Harrison is a licensed architect and is the principal of KHA.