What you should know in the hours and days after the tornado

Here's what you need to know in the hours and days after Friday's tornado in Ottawa and Gatineau.

Everything related to shelter, downed power lines, and food

People collect personal effects from damaged homes after a tornado touched down in Ottawa's Dunrobin neighbourhood on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Here's what you need to know in the hours and days after the tornado that touched down Friday in Ottawa and Gatineau.


City of Ottawa

Anyone in Dunrobin who's been displaced because of the storm can go to an emergency centre at West Carleton High School at 3088 Dunrobin Rd.

People in the Hunt Club/Riverside area can find shelter at an emergency centre at the Canterbury Recreation Centre at 2185 Arch St.

City of Gatineau 

The City of Gatineau has opened a disaster relief centre on the Gabrielle-Roy campus of Cégep de l'Outaouais at 333 boulevard de la Cité-des-Jeunes.

Food and power

As of 11 p.m. Friday, Hydro Ottawa estimated that roughly 147,000 customers were without electricity in Ottawa.

More than 47,500 customers were without power in the Outaouais, including Gatineau.

The power authority said many locations likely won't have power restored before mid-Saturday morning.

Even without power, food can stay frozen for 24 to 48 hours in most freezers, according to Ottawa Public Health.

People should avoid opening their fridge or freezer to ensure the contents stay cold. Any perishable food in the freezer that thaws can still be used, as long as it's still cold.

However, the health authority said that food that's been at room temperature for more than two hours should be tossed.

Hydro Ottawa is also warning anyone using a generator to keep it outdoors.

Who to call

In an emergency, call 911.

For any non-emergency city-related calls, such as fallen trees, residents on both sides of the river can call 311.

However, both cities ask that residents only call 311 if the situation is urgent and requires immediate assistance.

A tweet from Distress Centre Ottawa said that volunteers are available 24/7 in case someone wanted to call in for mental health support.

Do not touch electrical wires

If electrical wires come in contact with your home or car, do not touch the wires.

Call the power company immediately and don't exit your car.

If you come across downed power poles or lines, stay at least 10 metres back.

General assistance

Anyone who wants to assist with relief efforts is asked to contact the Canadian Red Cross Society.

The society can be reached at 1-800-418-1111 in Ontario and 1-800-363-7305 in Quebec.