Shutting Down Your Utilities During a Disaster

Disasters such as fires, flooding, earthquakes, or power outages can happen without warning. When confronted with a crisis, it is important to shut off utilities on your home to prevent further damage. Learn how to shut off natural gas, water, and electricity supplies in your house before a disaster occurs, and teach your family the best way to do so as well:

Natural Gas

  • Gas shut-off procedures vary from home to home. Contact your local gas company to get information on the safest way to shut off the gas supply to your house according to your home’s gas meter setup.
  • As soon as you learn the gasoline shut-off process, practice it with the whole family, but make sure to not actually switch off the gas when practicing.
  • If you smell gas near a petrol pipe or gas-fueled appliance, or if the CO sensor goes off, open a window immediately and get everybody out of the home as fast as possible. Switch off the gas supply and call the gas company shortly after.
  • Once you switch off the gas, never try to turn it back on yourself. Only a qualified professional must turn your gas supply back on.


  • After a disaster or if you see electric damage in your house, turn off power instantly to prevent fires and electrical shocks.
  • First, locate the primary circuit box that is usually mounted on a wall. In many homes, the circuit box is located in the basement, so make sure that you bring a flashlight.
  • Inside the panel, you will see multiple switches, including the major switch which shuts off all electricity in your home.
  • For safety purposes, always shut off individual buttons before shutting off the main switch.


  • Following a disaster, your water source may get polluted due to lines that are cracked, therefore it is important to shut off it until authorities say it’s safe to turn the water back on. Check this link to learn more about property restoration.
  • Find the shut-off valve for the main water of your home, which may be discovered in these areas:
    • onto a wall close to the front of the home
    • near the water heater
    • in the garage
    • buried in the ground outside, near the street, at a covered box
  • Label the shut-off valve so you can easily find it later on.
  • Be certain the valve completely closes when you turn it clockwise. If the valve does not fully close, it may be rusted or damaged. In cases like this, have it replaced by an experienced technician.

Following a disaster, it’s vital to act quickly to prevent further damage to your property. Find out more about the effects of not acting quickly after a disaster here. For skilled fire, water, and mold restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office. Visit their website for more information.

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