- Grocery stores, gas stations
- Roads, bridges
- Pharmacies, hospitals,
- Telephone and electricity service
- Water supplies
- Critical commercial businesses
- Hardware stores
How will this affect your family?
As well, keep in mind that while some events are relatively minor, others can be complex with concurrent disasters. The damage depends on the type of disaster. The effects will vary in intensity and duration, and may have short- or long-term implications. Nonetheless, any event will cause significant damage and social disruption.
To make matters worse, most infrastructure in North America—including bridges, communication towers, and transportation facilities—was built prior to current disaster legislation, upgraded safety codes, and advanced engineering standards, all of which are designed to improve protection of the public.
In addition, many shelters and gathering places that would normally be used after a disaster—such as schools, hockey arenas, and hospitals—were also built prior to these standards and therefore have the potential to sustain extensive damage during a disaster.
Many public buildings are slowly undergoing upgrades to meet the current standards, but this will take time, money, and resources. Meanwhile, disasters continue to occur more quickly than the upgrades, highlighting the importance to understand how disasters might directly or indirectly affect your family and to be as self-sufficient as possible to reduce the need for external assistance.