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Here’s a New Year’s resolution that should be easy to keep — because all you have to do about it is make the right preparations.

Monday, the finish line was in sight: with only 750 customers left without power, Toronto was finally getting its house in order after an ice storm that hit a little over a week before. Immediately after the storm, more than 300,000 were without power in Ontario, the victims of heavy icing, downed wires and fallen trees. New Brunswickers were slammed by the same storm, leaving 50,000 without power — and then facing another major winter storm, which both delayed repairs and knocked out more customers.

So, what’s the resolution?

Well, we get blizzards and ice storms — and, more recently, hurricanes, too. Violent weather often brings power problems, and that’s not likely to change.

What we all should be looking at is having the right preparations for when the power goes off. That’s right, when the power goes off — because it will, and the more damage there is, the longer it will take to get everyone back on line.

What should you do? First, print off and make a proper emergency plan. One’s available on the web here: http://bit.ly/1hQbC0D.

Second, make sure you have the supplies you need to get by for a minimum of 72 hours.

In case you want the quick details of what you need, here they are, courtesy of the government of Canada.

The basic emergency kit every household should have: water — at least two litres per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order.

Food that won't spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace food and water once a year), a manual can-opener, a crank or battery-powered flashlight, and extra batteries (replace batteries once a year), a crank, battery-powered radio (and extra batteries) or Weatheradio, a first aid kit. Extra keys to your car and house, some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones, a copy of your emergency plan and contact information.

If applicable, other items such as prescription medication, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities, or food, water and medication for your pets or service animal.

The government also lists a series of recommended additional items, including two additional litres of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning.

Candles and matches or lighter (place candles in deep, sturdy containers and do not burn unattended); a change of clothing and footwear for each household member; a sleeping bag or warm blanket for each household member

Toiletries, hand sanitizer, utensils, garbage bags, toilet paper, water purifying tablets

Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, work gloves, dust mask, pocket knife).

A whistle (in case you need to attract attention).

Duct tape (to tape up windows, doors, air vents, etc.)

It’s not a lot of material to put in place.

And you know when you’ll miss it most?

When you don’t have it, and you can’t get it.

Geographic location: Toronto, Ontario

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  • anna
    January 02, 2014 - 19:29

    Thank you for this. I made a point of gathering up all of the items you mentioned and placed in a container. It didn't take much time and you never know.