Ensure your safety and the longevity of your home

Make sure you stay safe and ensure your home’s longevity:

After a flood or storm surge

Find out if your water is drinkable

Once the flood water has receded, find out if y​our water is drinkable, i.e. it is fit for consumption. In case of uncertainty as to the colour, odour or taste of the water, contact the municipal authorities before using it.

Disinfect and test your private well

If you have a private well, disinfect it and have your water tested.

Make sure that foods and medications are safe before you consume them

After a power failure lasting more than six hours, carefully sort through the food (in French only) that was left in your refrigerator and freezer to prevent foodborne illness.

Do not consume medication kept in your refrigerator. Instead, take it back to the pharmacy.

Dispose of any foods or medications that came into contact with floodwater.

Observe the following before eating fruits and vegetables from the garden

If your garden was flooded, discard all above-ground fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries and lettuce. Carefully clean any vegetables grown underground, such as potatoes and carrots.

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Be careful with your electrical equipment

Safely restore electrical power by following these instructions:

  • If your power was interrupted by Hydro-Québec, only a master electrician can ask Hydro-Québec to restore it.
  • If the property was not flooded, Hydro-Québec will perform an on-site check before restoring power. Contact Hydro-Québec to request this service.
  • If your power was not interrupted but there was water infiltration in your home, consult a master electrician before restoring power. The electrician will tell you what condition your home’s electrical system is in and perform necessary restoration work.

Have your electrical and heating systems checked by specialists before you begin using them again to detect any possible damage or hazards. If they are damaged and awaiting full restoration, use temporary equipment in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.

Use your generator safely.

Be careful with natural gas-powered equipment

Do not attempt to reopen your connection or turn on natural gas-powered equipment that was shut off due to flooding. Doing so could put your safety at risk and damage your equipment, or even make it inoperable.

If your equipment is damaged or came into contact with water, it is important that a certified natural gas contractor assesses its condition and makes any necessary repairs. After the certified contractor’s visit, a technician from Énergir (formerly Gaz Métro) or Gazifère will tell you whether it is safe to begin operating your equipment again. The technician can also put your connection back into service and turn your natural gas-powered equipment back on.

If you already know a certified partner who can check your equipment, contact him or her directly. If not, your distributor can provide you with a list of certified partners in your area.

If your equipment is not damaged and has not come into contact with water, contact your distributor’s customer service department directly to schedule an appointment so that a technician can put your connection back into service and turn your equipment back on in your presence.

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Take care when turning your natural gas-powered equipment back on

If gas-powered equipment or propane equipment or receptacles were flooded, they must be checked by a contractor that specializes in natural gas and holds a certificate of competence before being used again.

Be very careful when using propane-powered construction heaters to dry your building. The use of these heaters is subject to several regulatory requirements, the most important of which are:

  • Leave the building whenever heaters are in use to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Do not store propane cylinders inside the building, as gas leaks could cause an explosion.
  • Place the heater on a horizontal, solid, and non-combustible surface.
  • Follow the instructions on the heater’s nameplate regarding clearance to combustibles.
  • Make sure that there is adequate air supply (see the nameplate).
  • If you use a flexible hose to supply the heater with propane, it must be at least 4.6 m (15 feet) and no more than 24 m (75 feet) in length.

Protect yourself during clean-up

Follow our safety instructions before you begin clean-up or construction work.

Clean your home and yard

Follow our instructions for cleaning your home and yard safely and efficiently.

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Ensure the longevity of your home

Follow our instructions for ensuring the longevity of your home (in French only) by doing the necessary work after the flood.

Check your plumbing

Before using your plumbing fixtures, make sure the municipal sewer system or your septic tank is functional. Then, follow these instructions from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec.

Inform your service providers

Contact the service providers you do business with to request that they re-establish your services in accordance with applicable standards (cable company, gas company, home maintenance, etc.).

Make sure your septic system is compliant

If you have a septic system (in French only), make sure it is compliant.

Know what to do with a flood-damaged vehicle

Never put a flood-damaged vehicle, including a motorcycle or a recreational vehicle (motorhome, trailer, etc.), back into operation.

After a prolonged power failure

If you return home after a prolonged power failure:

  • Wait until the temperature and humidity level inside your home are back to normal, then gradually turn your electrical and electronic equipment, including your heating equipment, back on. Call on a specialist if equipment is damaged. Until service is permanently restored, use backup equipment according to manufacturer instructions and take the necessary precautions to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Sort the food (in French only) that was in the refrigerator and freezer, and throw away any food that shows signs of deterioration.
  • Do not take medication that was in the refrigerator. Return it to the drugstore to be destroyed.
  • Call on a master pipe-mechanic (in French only) who has the skills and tools necessary to thaw pipes, if needed.
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After major exposure to smoke

If you return after a significant amount of smoke in the home, take those actions:

Eliminate dust and soot from the home

Wear gloves to be safe, and eliminate smoke and soot using soap and water. Thoroughly clean children’s toys, as well as items frequently touched. Using a broom or vacuum cleaner is not recommended, since they displace dust rather than remove it.

Rid the home of unpleasant odours

Properly air out the rooms for several hours. If odours persist, contact your municipality.

Clean clothing or other textiles that give off an odour

Wash clothing as you do normally. Consult a clothing and textile cleaning specialist to clean fabric items, such as stuffed toys, that are very soiled or that give off strong odours.

Observe the following before eating fruits and vegetables from the garden

Discard all fruits and vegetables that show signs of alteration or that smell of smoke. Before eating fruits and vegetables with soot or dust particles on them:

  • Clean the fruits and vegetables and rinse them with drinking water.
  • If possible, peel the food.
  • Remove the outside leaves of lettuce.
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