I understand that without power the debit cards / credit cards don't work. However, neither can Tim's make coffee, nor can the gas stations pump gas... If there's no power, most stores close. Cash is King, but if you can't but anything with it, it's the King of what exactly?
That said, I try to carry cash. I don't believe that in a disaster that cash is King. It might buy you something that you need, but it won't go as far as if you had the foresight to buy what you needed before the power went out. Don't leave things to the last minute.
Before the lights came on for me, cash did save my butt. Nova Scotia experienced Hurricane Juan in September 2003. The lights went out for several days. Like many people, I went to Canadian Tire to buy a stove. I got there and the store was closed because they had no power. I banged on the glass and my next door neighbor (an employee) came to the door. I told him that I needed a stove and had cash. He said that the registers were down. He agreed to take the money and would look after it (come to think of it, I never got my change).
It was personal relationships that made the difference. Not that I had cash. I was however glad I had it.
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