Earthquakes are not unusual events in Alaska, so it is essential to be prepared in the event that a large quake strikes:
- Know the location of all utility shut-off valves (gas, water, and main electric circuit breaker).
- Be sure your appliances are safely secured, such as using straps that attach your water heater to the wall.
- Have an 8″ – 12″ wrench available to turn your gas meter off if necessary. However, do NOT turn off your gas unless you smell gas or hear the hissing of a gas leak.
- If you do turn the gas off, leave it off. Contact Customer Service when you are ready for the gas to be turned back on and a technician will restore service and relight your appliances. In the hours and days after a major emergency, gas company calls will be backlogged, and you might have a substantial wait for a service technician to be scheduled to restore service to your home.
- After an earthquake, check to be sure nothing flammable has fallen or spilled near a natural gas appliance.
It’s also important to know how to detect a gas leak following an earthquake.
Knowing what to do with your gas meter is only part of natural disaster preparation. Having a an emergency kit is equally important. The kit should be portable and contain the necessary items to sustain life for the first critical hours and days following a disaster.
Things to Include In the Kit
- Food with a long shelf life, such as cereal or energy bars
- Shelter options, such as a tarp or pop-up tent
- Sanitation items
- Heat and light sources
- Communications equipment, such as a radio
- Critical medicines
In advance of an emergency, make sure to communicate and practice an evacuation plan and designate a meeting spot, should family members become separated.
See your local government pages for more information on natural disaster preparation: