Saw it coming, I did, through my incessant weather forecast watching here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Warned, we were, by the sages of climate. Still we really did not know the gravity of the situation, nor that we were to lose power for 18 hours. As we are always prepared, this matters little, because we know where everything necessary is located and we have done this before. It is worthwhile reflecting on what worked and what needs improvement, so that the next one, an inevitable event, really, will be that much more fulfilling.
It is pretty rare to have a blackout in Toronto, Canada, rare enough to catch people off guard. Without warning at 6:30pm we lost power for 5 hours. As we have lived in China before, we had automatically shifted our state of readiness so that in such unlikely events we are always ready. This time we really did need it.
Blackouts here in Toronto are indeed pretty rare. We have the occasional brownout, where the lights flicker and maybe the computers need a reboot, but the last full on blackout happened around 10 years ago in 2003, when some software glitch in a power plant in Ohio took down the US eastern seaboard and much of Ontario and Quebec.