Natural gas leaks can cause fires and explosions inside a building.
If you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line, or if you suspect a leak, shut off the main valve and open allwindows and doors.
Never use candles or matches if you suspect a leak. Do not turn on electrical switches or appliances.
Identify the main shutoff valve, located on the gas line coming into the main gas meter. This is usually on the exterior of your home or building, or in an external closet. Your main valve may look like this:
To turn gas off, give the valve a quarter turn in either direction. When the lever crosses the direction of the pipe (see below) the gas is off.
Keep a crescent wrench or gas shut-off tool nearby or tied to the gas meter to turn the lever.
Never attempt to turn your gas back on. Wait for your utility company to do it. This may take several days.
Water leaks can cause property damage and create an electrocution hazard.
After a major earthquake, shut off your water supply to protect the water in your house. Cracked pipes may allow contaminants into the water supply in your home.
The water shutoff is usually located in the basement, garage or where the water line enters the home. The water shutoff is located on a riser pipe and is usually a red or yellow wheel. Turn wheel clockwise to shut off.
A disaster that disrupts all or part of the City's water and/or sewer lines could affect the way you deal with human waste.
If there is no water in your toilet, but the sewer lines are intact, pour 3 to 5 gallons of water into the toilet bowl to flush. You may use seawater, bath, laundry or pool water.
If you suspect damage to your home's water lines, do NOT flush the toilet. Turn off water at the house so contaminated water does not enter your water system.
If sewer lines are broken, line bowl with double-bagged garbage bags to collect waste. Before discarding, add a small amount of bleach; then seal the bag and place in a tightly covered container, away from people.
If the toilet is unusable, use a sturdy bucket with a tight-fitting lid, and line it with a double-bagged plastic garbage bag.
Plan for how you will communicate with loved ones after a disaster.
Long-distance phone lines often work before local phone lines, so identify an out-of-state contact and provide this person with the contact information of people you want to keep informed of your situation. Share this information with your family and friends locally.
Avoid making non-urgent phone calls after a disaster even if phone lines are undamaged. Increased phone traffic can jam phone circuits.
Cordless phones or phone systems require electricity; make sure you have a backup phone that requires no electricity.
Don't count on your cell phone - increased traffic on cell phone networks can quickly overload wireless capacity.
Record an outgoing message on your voicemail so that callers can be reassured of your safety status.
Learn how to use text messaging. It uses a different part of the cell phone network and it might be possible to send and receive text messages when voice channels for mobile phones and landlines are jammed.