Turning off Utilities
Learn how to turn off your utilities to be safe during an emergency or natural disaster.
After an earthquake natural gas leaks can cause serious fires, so it is important to know how to turn the gas off.
Do not turn your gas off while practicing. You will need to notify the gas company to turn your gas back on once it has been turned off. Find your natural gas meter. As you look at your gas meter you will see a shut-off valve on the pipe coming out of the ground. You can see the hole on the valve. The purpose of the hole is that when perpendicular to the pipe it lines up with the hole underneath and the gas company can put a lock on it if they come to shut off your gas for an unpaid bill.
When the gas is on, the valve is parallel to the pipe. Using a twelve-inch or larger adjustable wrench, turn the valve a quarter turn until the valve is perpendicular to the pipe. You have successfully turned off your natural gas.
Don't try to turn your natural gas valve back on again after you have shut it off. Contact your local gas company to turn it back on safely. Print these instructions, along with contact information for your natural gas company, to place in your Emergency Preparedness Notebook.
Find your water main into the house. It is usually on the side of your front yard.
Open the panel and turn the valve with an adjustable wrench until it is perpendicular to the pipe. You can see a hole on the valve. The purpose of the hole is that when perpendicular to the pipe it lines up with the hole underneath and the water company can put a lock on it if they come to shut off your water for an unpaid bill. You will need a flashlight to be able to see inside your water main, even during the day. Make sure you keep flashlights handy for use during emergencies. We keep one stored in each of our nightstands so they are easy to find in the middle of the night.
Find your electric panel. It is usually on the outside of your garage wall.
Flip the top main circuit breaker switch to the off position. When the main circuit breaker switch is off there is no power going to the circuit breaker panel.