Thursday, April 17, 2008

Carry a survival pack

A strike deadline has been set for Sunday afternoon at 4pm. If a deal has not been reached by that time, TTC workers will be told to stay home. (Yes, a dreaded strike). It is estimated that 1.5 million people rely on the TTC every day (including, yours truly). I know from previous experience, even when a subway line has been disrupted for just a few hours, it gets pretty crazy. I can just imagine how insane it will be on Monday if the deal doesn't go through.

In the meantime, I received an email with the following contents:

Transit Strike Travel Tips for Commuters
Below are a few tips to help individuals and families manage day-to-day activities and routines, during a disruption in transit service:

Have a family meeting. Identify what activities must be completed and make plans to postpone non-urgent activities that can wait. Make sure everyone understands the changes that are taking place and the new schedule. Post the new day-to-day activities on a calendar and place it in an open area where everyone can easily refer to it.

Have back up plans in place. Negotiate a back up plan in the event that you are delayed arriving to, or from, a particular daily activity. For example, ask a friend or family member to be ‘on call’ in the event that you are delayed picking up the children after school or daycare. Having these extra resources available will help ensure routines are disrupted as little as possible, and keep anxiety and stress levels at a minimum for you and your family.

Cook meals ahead of time. Prepare meals in advance as much as possible. You can pre-make complete meals or just main dishes. Having these readily available for you and your family will help reduce stress during mealtime preparation and keep daily routines on track. You can also plan quick and easy, but nutritious, snacks that are easily accessible to family members of all ages.

Allow for extra time. Start your morning routines earlier and allow for extra travel time home. This will help avoid feelings of being ‘rushed’ and keep stress levels at a minimum for you and your family.

Create a travel action plan. How can you get to work if you use the TTC presently? Are friends, co–workers, or family members able to support your commute? Reach out and talk to individuals who may be able to help. And, if possible, consider this an opportunity to improve your fitness routine, through walking, or reconnect with family and friends during a shared car drive home.

Plan for the walk. Wear sensible shoes: good walking shoes will make the commute much more pleasant and blister free! Travel light by avoiding heavy bags that can strain your neck or shoulders. But remember to carry an umbrella, rainwear or extra light clothing to accommodate changes in weather. You can also make the trip more interesting by choosing scenic routes to travel.

Plan for the drive. If you are driving to and from work, recognize that traffic will be challenging. Listening to local news stations that provide up-to-the minute traffic reports will help you plan your route better and prevent any last-minute traffic delays. As well, check out parking options before you drive: some streets may be designated as ‘no parking zones’ to accommodate the strike. Most of all remember to keep your cool while driving: Traffic delays can be a stressful experience for both you and your fellow commuters.

Plan for the cycle. To enjoy a safe ride to and from work, remember to follow the traffic signs and flow of the traffic. Appropriate lights and reflectors will also ensure that you’re as visible as possible to other commuters. If you are commuting with a group, keep your bicycles in a single file. You may also want to scope out bicycle paths that are available in your community to avoid heavy traffic.

Carry a survival pack. Whether you are walking or driving, there are various things you can do to keep the commute as pleasant as possible for everyone. Calming music, extra bottled water or juice, and nutritious snacks, can help nourish and relax the body and mind.

[I am definitely going to carry a survival pack]

I called my husband to book an Autoshare vehicle for Monday morning...just in case.

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