SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Earthquakes, wildfires and extreme weather are natural disasters that can occur anywhere and anytime in California. During National Preparedness Month in September, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is helping its customers get ready before emergencies occur and educating them on how to stay safe when disasters strike.
For the second year in a row, PG&E sponsored the California Day of Preparedness Event, hosted by the State’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) in Sacramento. This was a free public event featuring emergency preparedness activities, booths and vehicles from several agencies. PG&E representatives were on hand to provide information about the utility’s emergency response program, gas leak detection technology and response to the state’s historic drought. PG&E also provided gas and electric safety demonstrations for attendees.
Throughout September, PG&E will participate in several other community events and preparedness fairs in its service area to encourage customers to have a preparedness plan and teach them about potential gas and electric hazards that can occur following a catastrophic event.
“Having a personal preparedness plan and knowing what to do during a natural disaster is vital for Californians. To help educate the communities we serve, PG&E partners with organizations, like OES, to help better prepare our customers for such events,” said Barry Anderson, vice president of emergency preparedness and operations for PG&E.
PG&E has a plan for emergencies, and the utility practices and evaluates its emergency response with local first responders every year. California residents should also develop, update and practice their personal preparedness plans as well, and National Preparedness Month is the perfect time to get started with the following tips:
GET READY FOR NATURAL DISASTERS BEFORE THEY HAPPEN:
- Prepare an emergency plan and conduct an emergency drill with your family.
- Prepare an evacuation plan for your home. Each room should have at least two ways to escape in case one is blocked. Establish a place where your family can reunite.
- Establish an alternative way to contact others who are not home, such as an out-of-the-area telephone contact.
- Prepare and maintain an emergency preparedness kit with enough supplies on hand to be self-sufficient for at least three days, and preferably up to one week.
- Know where your gas service shutoff valve is, and how to shut off your gas supply. The main shutoff valve is normally near your gas meter and will require the use of a 12- to 15-inch adjustable pipe or crescent-type wrench or other suitable tool.
- Know which of your appliances use gas and where the appliance shutoff valves are. In some cases, turning off the gas at the appliance shutoff valve will suffice.
- Know where the main electric switch is and how to turn off your electric supply.
KNOW WHAT TO DO AFTER AN EMERGENCY:
- Check for injuries and ensure that everyone is safe.
- Check for damage. If you smell or hear gas escaping inside your home or business, get everyone outside and shut off the gas immediately!
- Do not use electrical switches, appliances or phones because sparks can ignite gas. Do not check for a gas leak with a match or an open flame.
- Once outside, use your phone from a safe location upwind where you can no longer smell gas to call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
- Shut off the gas at the main gas service valve normally located near your gas meter by using a 12- to 15-inch adjustable wrench or other suitable tool to give the valve a quarter turn.
- Once you shut off the gas, DO NOT turn it back on. Contact PG&E or another qualified professional to perform a safety inspection before the gas service is restored and the gas appliance pilots are re-lit.
- If the power goes out, turn off all electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and fire hazards when power is restored. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
- During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights instead of candles due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lamp shades and small children and never leave them unattended.
- Treat all downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others away from them. Call 911, and then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
More safety and readiness information is available through PG&E’s website, at www.pge.com/safetycentral and through the Federal Emergency Management Agency at http://www.ready.gov.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.