When to call 911
Call 911 when a power outage is caused by an event that threatens public security or someone's personal safety. The appropriate authorities will be dispatched to assist the person or establish a security perimeter. Hydro-Québec will also be alerted.
Warning: Never approach a power line—always assume it is energized. It's a matter of life and death!
The following are the most frequent situations in which it is best to call 911 instead of Hydro-Québec.
Broken power lines
within reaching distance
Transformer or pole
Check that it really is a power line:
What to do:
Immediately dial 911 and describe the situation.
The appropriate authorities will be alerted and will contact Hydro-Québec.
After reporting the outage and problem, follow these steps:
- Turn off any electrical appliances that were on, to prevent them from coming back on when the power is restored.
- Note: Refrigerators and freezers are the exception to this rule; do not unplug them. For more information, consult food conservation recommendations from the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation (in French only).
- Unplug all your computers and other electronics to prevent damage from possible voltage surges when the power comes back on. This is especially important if they are not protected by a surge suppressor.
- If you heat with electricity, set all of your thermostats to zero to avoid overloading the distribution system when power is restored.
- Leave two lights on—one inside and one outside. This will let you know when power has been restored, and will also help emergency crews identify the houses that are still without power.
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