As the New Year begins, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) encourages customers to make emergency preparedness not only a resolution but one that comes with an action plan. Simple steps like preparing an emergency supply kit and making an emergency communication plan for the family can help keep loved ones connected and ready for a natural disaster.
Recent catastrophic events around the world serve as a reminder that first responders may not be able to respond quickly to everyone who needs help during times of crisis. Services that we have come so accustomed to expect —such as water and power—may not be available. Those are just a few reasons why personal preparedness is so important.
“Families are much safer and prepared during an emergency when they’ve established an action plan,” said Barry Anderson, PG&E’s vice president of emergency preparedness and response. “Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to understand how you will get to a safe place, how to contact one another, and how to safely react in a variety of emergency situations.”
A wealth of safety and readiness information, including tips on how to build a disaster supply kit and an emergency communication plan for your family, is available through PG&E’s website, at http://www.pge.com/safety/preparedness/ and through the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.ready.gov.
PG&E also provides the following important safety tips to keep customers safe during an electric or gas emergency:
- Never go near downed power lines. If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
- If you smell or hear escaping gas, get everyone outside to a safe location away from the building and upwind where you can no longer smell natural gas. Once outside, use your phone to call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
- If you suspect a gas leak, do not use electrical switches, appliances or telephones because sparks can ignite gas from broken lines.
- Do not check for a gas leak with a match or an open flame.
- Always store flammable material safely away from ignition sources like water heaters, furnaces and stoves.
- Know when and how to turn off electricity, water and gas at the main switch and valves.
- Evaluate your home for safety; including ensuring your home can withstand a serious earthquake or other emergency.