1. Know how and when to turn off utilities

    In an emergency you may need to turn off your electric, gas or water utilities for safety, or to avoid damage to your home. Make sure you and all family members know where your electric panel, gas, and water shut-off valves are, and how to turn them off so you’re prepared in any type of emergency.


    You may need to turn off your electricity, for example if there’s flooding danger or the possibility of a natural gas leak. It’s best to turn off your electricity at the circuit breaker. If it’s possible and safe, PGE recommends leaving one light inside and outside connected to the circuit – this helps our crews know which houses have power more quickly.

    Never enter a home or any building with a large amount of standing water if you’re not positive the electricity is shut off – water and electricity don’t mix!


    According to NW Natural’s website, if you need to have your gas service turned off, you can call NW Natural and a technician will provide the service for you. However, should a situation arise where you need to turn off your gas supply immediately, you can follow these simple steps.


    Anyone who’s ever had a pipe burst knows it can be handy to know how to turn off your water. Because Oregon is a temperate climate, the shut-off valve is typically near the meter, outside. If you don’t know where your shut-off valve is, contact your local water bureau. To turn off the water, turn the valve clockwise until it won’t turn anymore.

    Also remember that you may need to turn off utilities without proper lighting – make sure you have a flashlight (or even better, a headlamp so you have both hands free) in your emergency kit. Check out our Emergency Kit post to find out what else you’ll want to have.

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