Almost two-thirds of Quebecers feel that a prolonged blackout poses a serious problem

    Candles, Heating and Traditional Telephone on list of must-haves when the
    lights go out

    KOS (TSX)

    MONTREAL, Aug. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Four years after the largest blackout in
North American history (August 14. 2003) and leading up to the tenth
anniversary of the Quebec Ice Storm (January 1998), a survey reveals that
almost two-thirds of Quebecers feel that a prolonged blackout poses a serious
problem. Impact Research conducted the survey on behalf of Cossette
Communication Group and its clients Bell Canada and Home Depot.
    Even though Quebecers remember the blackout of August 14, 2003 - which
affected more than 50 million North Americans - the Ice Storm remains the key
crisis that has stayed with them. As a result, Quebecers' main concerns during
a prolonged blackout are problems such as heating (26%), whereas Ontarians are
more preoccupied with their inability to carry on with their everyday routine
    The impact of the blackout of 2003 is still in the minds of Ontarians
with over 50% believing they could live through another prolonged power outage
in the next two years. Quebecers, on the other hand, seem to have retained
confidence in their electricity provider, since less than 30% fear another
prolonged blackout in the next two years.
    The study also sought to identify what actions people take when faced
with a loss of power and about the relative importance they assigned to
different goods and services during a blackout.
    Most Quebecers (38%) said that they verified the outage by turning on an
electrical device, (25%) took a look outside to verify that the blackout
extended to their neighbours and (19%) picked up the telephone to call their
electricity provider, a friend or family member.
    The survey also found that the top six goods and services Quebecers
believe to be essential or very important to have during a prolonged blackout
were candles and matches, flashlights, heating, appropriate food, drinkable
water, and a telephone. The survey also revealed that 62% of Quebecers rated a
working telephone as essential or very important. However, one third did not
know that cable phones or VoIP-based telephony would not provide reliable
service during a prolonged blackout because these technologies depend on
    Cossette, Bell Canada and Home Depot offer the following advice to
Quebecers interested in preparing their homes and families to deal with a
prolonged power blackout:

    1. Consult the websites and publications of public agencies like Quebec's
       Department of Public Security and the Red Cross for detailed advice on
       emergency preparation and for comprehensive checklists of supplies and
       materials that will help you and your family cope in an emergency.

    2. To ensure that you can make emergency or urgent telephone calls, make
       sure you have access to a traditional landline telephone that will
       remain fully functional during a prolonged blackout.

    3. Have a three day emergency supply of food and water and a one week
       supply of any required medications. Remember that the lights will be
       out and the power will be off so the food should be non-perishable and
       ready to eat. You should have at least 4 litres of water per person
       per day.

    4. To ensure that emergency workers and first responders are able to
       communicate effectively and to help maintain the 911 service, refrain
       from using 911 to report a blackout.

    5. In addition to having an adequate supply of flashlights, batteries,
       candles and matches do not forget to store any special batteries
       required to operate medical appliances and devices.

    Impact Research is a division of Cossette Communication Group specialized
in qualitative and quantitative research, exploratory research and evaluation
of marketing and communications activities (surveys, focus groups, etc.)
    Cossette Communication Group Inc. offers a full range of leading-edge
communication services to clients of all sizes, including some of the most
prestigious brands in the world. A customer-driven organization built around
highly specialized business units, Cossette also offers Convergent
Communications(TM), a unique working method that brings added value to the
client by integrating various services offered by the Group, including
advertising, media planning and buying, sales promotion, database and direct
marketing, customer relationship management, interactive solutions, public
relations and alliance marketing, brand management and graphic design,
strategic planning and research services, ethnic marketing, urban youth
marketing, sports marketing, branded content and product placement,
business-to-business communications (B2B practices). Cossette has
approximately 1,600 employees and offices in Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto,
Vancouver, Halifax, New York, Boston, Irvine, Los Angeles, London, Moscow and

For further information:

For further information: Cristine Tessier, (514) 985-8204; Source:
Impact Research - Cossette Communication Group

Organization Profile


More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890