Expert Opinion piece – Julie Mclean, National Training Manager of Ace Body Corporate Management.
In Strata Community Association’s (SCA) ‘Committee Training’ course we discuss the importance of Disaster Planning generally but focus on power outages in particular. We use the example of South Australia in 2016 experiencing power outages lasting for many days and in some extreme circumstances even over a week in some areas, after a series of extreme events.
In late December 2017, severe thunderstorms caused significant power outages across Victoria, leaving many residents without power for a significant period. It is a timely reminder of the ramifications of modern life without electricity especially for multi storey buildings.
In December 2015 in Lancaster, England, life for more than 100,000 people reverted to a pre-electronics era. An extreme event caused a flood at an electricity substation resulting in a blackout over the entire city that lasted for more than 24 hours. The City of Lancaster learnt so much from the experience that they wrote a report to share: https://www.raeng.org.uk/publications/reports/living-without-electricity
We have back up batteries, don’t we?... or maybe a generator if we are lucky? We know right – how our building works?These are some of the questions that may be running through the heads of a strata community committee that have not discussed disaster planning. Given emergency lighting systems rely on batteries that are designed to ride through a short interruption of supply or to give occupants time for an orderly and well-planned evacuation in a more serious event. After about 90 mins, the batteries are exhausted. The fire detector system runs for longer, but still for less than a day.