Emergency Preparations in a Vertical City

May 2019

Toronto’s condo community is no stranger to dealing with emergency situations.  From floods to fires, ice storms, heavy rains and power outages, one or more emergency situations are likely to crop up each year.

These situations are more than an inconvenience.  Lack of air conditioning and food spoilage are minor concerns.  Seniors and disabled people can become trapped on their floor for hours or days in the dark and without power.  Heat or cold during these periods can worsen a bad situation.

Fire presents a more immediate risk despite sophisticated fire prevention and control systems in buildings.  The situation is even more serious for people unable to escape fire or smoke in suites, hallways, elevators or stairwells.

A system should be in place to assist elderly, ill and injured people when an emergency occurs.  All residents need to know when to remain in their suite, or when to evacuate a building and how to do so.

Each condo resident should maintain an emergency kit stocked with items that may be necessary when an emergency occurs.  See Emergency Planning for Condos and Fire Emergency Planning for High-Rise Buildings in the Condo Archives for items to be included in this kit.

Develop evacuation plans that include building-wide communications and assistance for those unable to navigate stairs on their own.

Developing a checklist to follow during emergencies ensures nothing is forgotten.

When evacuating a building, don’t forget to bring credit cards and cash.  Both may be necessary depending on the situation.