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New survey shows majority of Toronto Hydro customers not prepared for emergencies

New statistics come as Emergency Preparedness Week gets underway

TORONTO, May 8, 2019 /CNW/ - It's Emergency Preparedness Week, but a recent survey shows that the majority of Toronto Hydro customers aren't prepared for emergencies, despite expressing concern about extreme weather events.

Toronto Hydro is encouraging customers to put together an emergency preparedness kit as part of Emergency Preparedness Week. (CNW Group/Toronto Hydro Corporation)

When asked, 76% of customers said that they were concerned about extreme weather events such as high winds, heavy rain or ice storms, but only 29% of customers reported having an emergency kit prepared in case of an emergency.

The number one reason given for not being prepared is the belief that any emergency will be short-lived.

And while most power outages don't last very long, extreme weather events can cause extended outages. The 2013 ice storm, for example, resulted in 300,000 Toronto Hydro customers losing power at the peak of the storm, and the event lasted for a total of 13 days. With severe storms occurring more frequently, there's now an increased risk of emergencies, such as power outages.

That's why we're encouraging our customers to build emergency kits. The general rule is to pack it with enough supplies to last for 72 hours.

Beginning preparations is as simple as following Toronto Hydro's tips:

  • Stock your emergency kit with essential items including water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, a battery-powered or crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit and cash
  • Keep your emergency kit in an easy-to-access location known to all family members
  • Customize your kit to your family – aging parents, young children and pets may require more preparation, including medications
  • Check your emergency kit twice a year to replace or refill items as needed

 

A complete emergency preparedness guide is available on our website at torontohydro.com/beprepared. We'll be posting emergency preparedness tips on social media for the entire week in an effort to encourage our customers to get prepared.

QUICK FACTS

  • Our survey revealed other reasons for not preparing a kit included not having enough time and not having funds to create a kit
  • In 2018, Toronto Hydro responded to five extreme weather events that left approximately 175,000 customers without power

 

QUOTES

"While it's true that most power outages don't last very long, we can't rely on that always being the case during an emergency. We want our customers to plan ahead, just in case, so they can keep themselves safe and comfortable during an emergency."

-       Tori Gass, Spokesperson, Toronto Hydro

ABOUT TORONTO HYDRO

Toronto Hydro owns and operates the electricity distribution system for Canada's largest city. It has approximately 772,000 customers located in the city of Toronto and distributes approximately 19% of the electricity consumed in Ontario.

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SOURCE Toronto Hydro Corporation