Toronto Hydro Encourages Torontonians to Get Prepared this Week

TORONTO, May 4 /CNW/ -

NEWS

Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited ("Toronto Hydro") is asking Torontonians to make an emergency plan and check it twice this Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week).

Emergency Preparedness Week, May 2-8, 2010, marks the event's 15th anniversary of a Canada-wide initiative to increase awareness about individual and family preparedness.

During EP Week, Toronto residents are encouraged to identify and learn about risks in their communities and how they can protect themselves.

Emergencies are unpredictable and can spring up quickly. Having a solid plan plays a critical part in reducing reaction time during an emergency. That is why Toronto Hydro has developed a portfolio of contingency plans to effectively manage a wide variety of emergency scenarios.

Each year, the utility also participates in province-wide mock drills and exercises with partnering emergency responders to ensure its Emergency Plans remain current and are coordinated with other city and provincial authorities.

While Torontonians are already aware of Toronto Hydro's prompt reactive response to outages, many aspects of the utility's preparedness activities are proactive in nature. Part of Toronto Hydro's proactive plan includes monitoring Environment Canada's weather tracking system, allowing the utility to identify abnormal weather patterns. When storm warnings are in effect, Toronto Hydro schedules additional crews in advance with the intent of lessening response times when storms hit the city.

This year, Toronto Hydro is encouraging Torontonians to go beyond reactive planning. According to the utility's annual 'Peak Out Poll', 71 per cent of Torontonians report having enough food to get through a three-day emergency*, but easing the stress of a longer-term emergency requires more proactive steps than storing extra water and food.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS TIPS:

    
    -   Develop an emergency preparedness plan that works for your household;

    -   At a minimum, keep an emergency kit that includes non-perishable
        food, water and supplies to last at least 72 hours;

    -   Keep one week's supply of non-expired, essential medical
        prescriptions;

    -   Make a list of emergency contact numbers;

    -   Individuals who live alone should make arrangements to provide status
        updates to family and friends;

    -   Wind-up or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries) in
        waterproof container(s);

    -   First aid kit, and

    -   Cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones.
    

And once the basics are covered? According to Toronto Hydro's annual Peak Out Poll, the one luxury item 34 per cent of Torontonians would absolutely want during a wide-scale power outage is a barbeque.

Barbeques are great for no-electricity cooking during an outage. But gasoline or charcoal-burning devices can cause carbon monoxide poisoning when used inside. For more power outage and safety tips, visit torontohydro.com/poweroutage.

LINKS

torontohydro.com/poweroutage

Visit Emergency Management Ontario's website at: to learn more about being prepared:

www.ontario.ca/beprepared

BOILERPLATE:

Toronto Hydro Corporation is a holding company, which wholly-owns two principal subsidiaries:

    
    -   Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited - which distributes electricity
        and engages in Conservation and Demand Management ("CDM") activities;
        and
    -   Toronto Hydro Energy Services Inc. - which provides street lighting
        services.
    

The principal business of the Corporation and its subsidiaries is the distribution of electricity by Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited. Toronto Hydro-Electric System owns and operates an electricity distribution system, which delivers electricity to approximately 690,000 customers located in the City of Toronto. It is the largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada and distributes approximately 18% of the electricity consumed in Ontario.

SOURCE Toronto Hydro Corporation


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