Like most Torontonians, I am only too aware of the fact that our fellow Canadians think we’re all a big bunch of wimpy winter snow sissies. Well, STICKS AND STONES PEOPLE! (Actually, we’re not really well equipped to handle that kind of flying branch and rock debris, so … you know, please don’t.)
It all started with “Snowmageddon”, the uber-storm of ’99 when another of our illustrious mayors, Mel Lastman, called in the army to dig us out of an accumulation of white powder (no, not the kind our current Mayor dabbles in) that would have been considered frosty-foreplay in neighbouring Quebec, barely worthy of a swipe of their fancy French windshield wipers. But Mel feared emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to get through our clogged city streets, so he strapped some snow shovels onto a few Sherman tanks, et voila! Snow problem obliterated … along with our civic pride.
But we’ve been given the chance to redeem ourselves this weekend by showing a staunch resolve in preparing for the ice storm that’s been hammering our city since Saturday afternoon. Power is now out in more than 250,000 homes across Toronto, including every street in our neighbourhood except ours. I’m not really sure why we’ve been spared this pre-Christmas trial, but I’m eternally grateful we have been, not only for the privilege of heat and power, but because I never did get around to putting together a household Emergency Kit. I know, I know … baaaaad homeowner. In my defence, I would have asked Andrew to do it last month, but I just knew somehow that his list of emergency needs would start and end with this:
- The love of family
No, seriously, he could coast on that for days … because he’s basically a better human being than I am. Or perhaps he just thinks he could, until hypothermia would eventually set in (which, given his lame-o attempt at packing an emergency kit, would likely be caused by me).
My kit, on the other hand, would simply start and end here:
- One strapping, young Hydro worker (No, not for THAT … to fix the power!)
Oh, sweet Mother of God, my lights just flickered.
GET THE EMERGENCY KIT!!!!