Get ready for natural disasters before they happen
- Prepare an emergency plan and conduct an emergency drill with your family.
- Prepare an emergency evacuation plan for your home. Each room should have at least 2 ways to escape in case one is blocked. Establish a place where your
family can reunite after an emergency.
- If you live in an apartment, know the locations of emergency exits, fire alarms,
and fire extinguishers.
- Make sure children, houseguests and childcare providers know your safety
procedures. By planning and practicing what to do, you can condition yourself and your family to react correctly when an emergency occurs.
- Establish an alternative way to contact others that may not be home, 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 3 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 home for safety; including ensuring your home 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 home. 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 in your house should be tested every month using the alarm test button.
- Keep fire extinguishers in your home, and know how to use them before they are needed. You should keep a fire extinguisher in high-risk areas such as the kitchen and workshop.
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.