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Emergency Preparedness Essentials
 

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Be Familiar With Utility Shut-off

Being able to shutt off your utilities can mean the different between life or death during a natural disaster. Make sure you're familiar with how to shut off all the utilities to your home.

How to Shut Off Natural Gas

Natural gas leaks contribute to many fires following natural disasters. Therefore, itís essential that all members of the household learn how to shut off natural gas valves.

Since shut-off procedures vary by gas meter, arrange a meeting with a representative of the local gas company to learn how to properly and safely shut off gas lines and gas powered appliances.

After youíve learned how to safely shut-off gas to your house, teach family members how to properly do so. Make sure not to shut-off gas while practicing.

If a gas odor is present or a hissing sound can be heard, quickly open a window and evacuate everyone from the house. Shut-off gas from an outside gas valve and notify the local gas company immediately.

If gas is shut-off, it must be turned back on by a representative of the gas company. Do not try to turn the gas on by yourself.

How To Shut Off Water

After a natural disaster, water becomes a precious commodity. Therefore, itís important that all people living in your home know how to turn off the water from the main water valve.

While preparing for an emergency, determine where the main water valve is located and label it with a tag, so household members can identify it. Ensure all people in the house know where itís located prior to a disaster.

Check the main water valve to ensure it can be shut off completely. Some valves only close partially or become damaged by rust. If this is the case, immediately replace the valve.

Also check for cracked water lines since damaged lines can pollute water. Following an emergency, do not turn water back on until local authorities or representatives from the water company deem it safe.

Gravity can drain water from toilets and hot water heaters unless it is sealed off by closing your homeís main water valve. Be aware that this valve is not located in a large cement box located on the curb. Do not attempt to move this valve since a special tool is needed to move it.

How to Shut Off Electricity

Leaking gas can be ignited by electrical sparks. Therefore, take time to teach every member of your family how to turn the electricity off in case of an emergency.

If you donít already know where it is, locate the electrical circuit box in your home. To be safe, always switch off individual circuits prior to the main circuit.

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