PG&E Offers Californians Lifesaving Tips for National Preparedness Month

PG&E Offers Californians Lifesaving Tips for National Preparedness Month

Sun Staff Reports

The fall season has begun, and bone-dry drought conditions have made the western United States a tinderbox prime for wildfires. That, combined with the threat of earthquakes, floods and landslides, makes it essential for Californians to be prepared for disasters. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reminds its customers that the best time to prepare for an emergency or natural disaster is before it happens. That’s what National Preparedness Month is all about.

Start by gathering supplies and creating an emergency kit that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Be sure to include flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash. If you already have a kit, make sure it’s up to date.

Don’t forget to pack a go-bag, a bag of essential items ready for use in case you need to evacuate your home. Consider the unique needs of everyone in your family, including elderly, children and pets.

It can be hard to imagine what an evacuation might feel like and what you would grab first, if you had the chance. In a recent video on PG&E’s Safety Action Center website, you can watch a Sierra foothills family put through a simulated wildfire evacuation to demonstrate how being prepared can help bring calm to the chaos.

Other Ways to be Prepared

Plan for multiple evacuation routes and discuss them with your family.

If you own a generator, make sure it’s ready to operate safely.

Make sure you know how to open your garage door manually, as it may not function if the power is out.

Have cash on hand and a full tank of gas.

Keep mobile phones fully charged.

Identify backup charging methods and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.

Plan for medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.

Have masks and hand sanitizer readily available, both at home and in your car.

Gas Safety Tips

If you are ordered to evacuate, evacuate as soon as possible. Do not shut off your gas service just because of the evacuation order.

If you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line, or suspect a gas leak, you can shut off your gas line, but only if it is safe to do so. Alert others and evacuate the area to an upwind location if possible.

If you smell gas, do not use anything that could be a source of ignition, including candles, cell phones, flashlights, light switches, matches or vehicles, until you are a safe distance away.

Customers who smell gas should vacate the premises immediately, call 911 and then PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

For additional information related to your gas service, please visit our website