The ultimate goal was to make sure that citizens didn’t get sick or risk their lives, to make sure their basic needs were being met. For example, there were teams who went door to door to make sure that people were safe. There were distribution centres for firewood and food. If people had special needs, we helped them.
The L’Acadie area was more isolated, there were no neighbours nearby. At one point, someone suggested that we install… We passed out little red and green signs to residents, to put in the window if there was a problem. They put the signs in their windows and, when the patrol passed, it could immediately ascertain whether things were OK or if something was wrong: “Yep, everything’s good, everything’s OK” or “Nope, there’s a problem, we’re getting out to check.”
During the ice storm, it looked like a war zone. By the way, there is a reason that we put… We had good communications with the soldiers. To make sure it was safe everywhere, we asked the military to do patrols in the city. It looked like a war zone with the trees down and broken branches everywhere. The streets were full of branches, and it made it hard to get around and there was an incredibly thick layer of ice in the streets. It wasn’t pretty. I’ve never been in a war zone but it looked like a war zone. (Laughter).
During the ice storm, the 25 Canadian Forces Supply Depot was assigned the mission of supporting the 12,000 soldiers or so to be deployed around Montreal and in the Montérégie region. We were also given the mandate from the Canadian Forces, through the Quebec government, of providing all the shelters with equipment and materials, and we also received another mandate, of supporting Hydro-Québec.