21 Dec 2017
How to Shut Off Your Utilities

Learn how to shut off your utilities after an emergency hits.

A natural disaster can hit suddenly with zero warning.  That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you have an emergency action plan in place.  According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), one of the first things you should do when faced with an emergency is shut off your utilities.  Not sure how to shut off your water, natural gas, and electricity?  Here are some pointers to help you be prepared.


During a natural disaster, cracked pipes can result in polluted water.  To prevent this harmful water from entering your home, it’s important to shut off your water.  Luckily, turning off your water is a relatively straightforward process.  All you need to do is locate your main shut-off valve.  Once you find it, turn the knob or handle clockwise until the valve is completely shut.  You should not attempt to turn your water back on until the water is declared safe to drink.

Natural Gas

A natural gas leak increases your chances of fire and can be incredibly dangerous if inhaled.  That’s why it’s important to switch off your natural gas after an emergency.  Because every home has their own gas meter configuration, you will have to contact your local gas utility company to learn the proper procedure for shutting off your gas.  Once you understand the process, write down the steps and post them somewhere near your gas meter.  If at any time you smell gas or hear a hissing noise, gather your family and evacuate your home.  If you are able to successfully shut off your natural gas, please be aware that your gas will have to be turned on by a professional.


Because an electrical spark can result in a fire, it’s important that you shut off your electricity immediately after an emergency hits.  To shut off your electricity you will need to find your home’s circuit box.  Once you locate it, shut off all the circuits before turning off the main circuit.  You should keep your electricity off until you are sure your home is free of any gas leaks.

Take these steps to shut off your utilities after a natural disaster.  Remember, another way to be prepared for any emergency is to have the right insurance protections in place.  To find the right policies to fit your needs, contact the professionals at Patterson & Associates Insurance.  Our dedicated team is ready to assist you with all your insurance needs.