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posted on February 03, 2009
Having a few simple things on hand can make a big difference
By: Jennifer Brown
Published: January 31, 2009
Source: THE STAR
When the power went out in his apartment near Dufferin and Bloor Sts. on Jan. 15, Iain Grant discovered a whole new use for his BlackBerry.
"At first I thought it was just the fuse, so I stumbled down to the fuse box using my BlackBerry as a flashlight and flicked the power switch back on, and nothing happened. My roommate came to the top of the stairs and told me that it might not be just us, it seems the neighbours were looking pretty dark, too," says Grant, who was sitting in his apartment when the power went out around 9:30 p.m. for what ended up being nearly 24 hours.
"My only issue through the whole experience was not having a flashlight that I could use. Mine was in my tool box, but it had dead batteries. My phone seemed to suffice, so that was helpful," he says.
Grant was one of an estimated 250,000 people affected by the outage in an area spanning Jane St. to Spadina Ave. and Queen St. W. to St. Clair Ave., and he was one of many who discovered they weren't entirely prepared for a blackout. And while experts say the best thing to do during a power outage is to evacuate, many people didn't think the lights were going to be out for more than a few hours and therefore waited it out.