Emergency Preparedness

Get ready for natural disasters before they happen

  • Prepare an emergency plan and conduct an emergency drill with your employees.
  • Prepare an emergency evacuation plan for your business. Exits should be clearly marked. Establish a place where your employees can reunite after an emergency.
  • Make sure employees know the locations of emergency exits, fire alarms and fire extinguishers.
  • You may want to inform visitors of your safety procedures. By planning and practicing what to do, you can condition your employees to react correctly when an emergency occurs.
  • Establish alternative ways to contact employees, such as an out-of-the-area telephone contact. During some emergencies such as an earthquake, completing local telephone calls may be difficult. It may be easier to telephone someone out of the area.
  • Prepare and maintain an emergency preparedness kit with enough supplies on hand to be self-sufficient for at least three days, and preferably up to one week.
  • Know when and how to turn off electricity, water and gas at the main switch and valves.
  • Evaluate your building for safety, including ensuring your building can withstand a serious earthquake or other emergency.
  • Always store flammable material safely away from ignition sources like water
    heaters, furnaces and stoves.
  • Be sure smoke alarms are installed throughout your facility. If the smoke alarm runs on batteries or has battery back-up power, replace batteries at least once per year. If the low battery warning beeps, replace the battery immediately. All smoke alarms should be tested every month using the alarm test button.
  • Know how to use the fire extinguishers before they are needed.

Know what to do after an emergency

  • Ensure that everyone is safe.
  • Inspect your building for damage. Do not use electrical switches, appliances or
    telephones if you suspect a gas leak since sparks may ignite gas.
  • If you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line, or if you suspect a
    gas leak, evacuate the building. Find a phone away from the building and call
    PG&E or 9-1-1 immediately. If it is safe to do so, turn off the gas service shutoff valve normally located near the gas meter. Do not shut off the gas service shutoff valve unless you find the presence of any one of these conditions because there may be a considerable delay before PG&E can turn your service back on.
  • If leaking gas starts to burn, do not try to put the flame out. Call 9-1-1 and PG&E immediately. If it is safe to do so, turn off the gas service shutoff valve normally located near the gas meter.
  • Once the gas is shut off at the meter, do not try to turn it back on yourself. Only
    PG&E or another qualified professional should turn the gas back on.
  • Check for downed or damaged electric utility lines. Never touch wires lying on the ground, wires hanging on poles, or objects that may be touching them. Downed wires may still be carrying current and could shock, injure or even kill if touched.
  • Check for damaged household electrical wiring and turn off the power at the main electric switch if you suspect any damage. If the power goes out, turn off all electric appliances, and unplug major electric appliances to prevent possible
    damage when the power is turned back on.