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Natural Gas in an Emergency: How can you be prepared for a disaster?

Secure your water heater

One of the most common types of earthquake damage is broken gas and water lines resulting from unsecured water heaters A full water heater is very heavy and, if unsecured, can move during an earthquake.

If it moves too far or falls over, it is likely to break both water and gas lines. It is recommended that water heaters be secured to the floor or wall to prevent such damage and to preserve the water it contains.

Having a supply of clean drinking water is very important during an emergency, and your water heater can be a good source. To secure your water heater, you can call a contractor or do it yourself.

Know how and when to turn off your Natural Gas meter

It may not be necessary to turn off your natural gas meter following an earthquake. In fact, since natural gas meters should be turned back on only by qualified persons, customers turning them off unnecessarily may have to wait extended periods of time for gas to be restored.

When Should You Turn Off Your Gas Meter?

  • If there is structural damage to your home.
  • You smell natural gas.
  • You hear gas leaking.
  • There is a fire. CAUTION: Do not shut off the gas if doing so jeopardizes your safety.

How to shut off your gas meter

The meter shut-off valve is located next to the meter as shown. Use a wrench to turn the valve a quarter turn in either direction to the ‘off’ position shown in the illustration. If you turn the meter off, do not attempt to turn it back on yourself.