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Are You Prepared for a Disaster?

Click here for resources to be aware of before a disaster hits.

Here is what to do with utilities if a major disaster, such as an earthquake occurs:

GAS:  KNOW WHERE your gas meter is.  Keep an adjustable pipe or crescent-type wrench and instructions in a plastic bag next to your meter if possible.

In an emergency:

  • Locate the shutoff valve on the riser pipe from the ground to your meter (Figure A). On newer meters , it is on the service line going from your meter into the house (Figure B).
  • Use an adjustable pipe or crescent-type wrench to turn the valve a quarter turn in either direction. When the valve head is parallel to the pipe, it is in the OPEN position.
  • Turn the valve head crosswise (perpendicular) to the pipe, and it will be in the OFF position. There are also natural gas shutoff valves on the lines fueling individual pieces of equipment.

For more detailed explanation and diagrams, check NW Natural’s website and type in “disaster preparedness.”

image of a gas meter showing where shutoff valve is

WATER:  Know where your water turn-off valve is.  Turn off water main to the house to trap water in your home and to keep pollutants out of possible drinking water in your hot water heater, for example.  Also, turn off the water to your hot water heater if it has a turn off valve.  This will allow you to drain water from the bottom spigot to use if necessary.  (Check out EWEB’s website, and type in “disaster preparedness.”)

ELECTRICITY:  Locate your electrical circuit box.  Shut off the individual circuits before shutting the main circuit breaker.  Electricity sparks can set off natural gas leaks.  (Check out EWEB’s website and type in “disaster preparedness.”)