Natural Gas | Electricity | Water | Sewer Service | Communications
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.
Southern California Gas:
800-427-2200 and/or Southern California Gas
Electrocution can result from direct contact with live wires or anything that has been energized by these wire
- Locate your main electric switch, which is normally in the garage or outdoors. The panel box may have a flip switch or pull handle on a large circuit breaker.
- Shut off electricity when:
- Arcing or burning occurs in electrical devices.
- There is a fire or significant water leak.
- You smell burning insulation.
- The area around switches or plugs is blackened and/or hot to the touch.
- A complete power loss is accompanied by the smell of burning material.
Avoid touching or approaching a fallen power line:
Downed power lines are dangerous. Never touch them. For safety’s sake, always assume that a fallen power line is live, and follow these guidelines:
- Avoid touching the downed line with your hand or an object, such as a stick, broom or pole.
- Avoid touching anything, such as a car, object or equipment, or anyone who is in contact with a fallen power line.
- Keep children and pets away from fallen electric lines.
- Avoid driving over a fallen power line.
- Call 9-1-1 immediately to report a fallen power line
Southern California Edison:
800-611-1911 and/or Southern California Edison
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.
California Water Service:
310-257-1400 and/or California Water Service
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.
Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County:
562-908-4288 Extension 2301 and/or Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County
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.