We’re approaching the midpoint of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month – there’s a big statewide quake drill on Thursday, if you’re looking for something to reignite your inspiration for participation in our ongoing one-item-at-a-time “Go Bag” creation project with West Seattle Be Prepared.
Or – read up on Typhoon Phailin. Weather disasters can happen too (remember the 2006 windstorm? the 2007 rainstorm? archived coverage of both is in the “categories” list toward the bottom of our sidebar).
Next item for your “Go Bag”:
Either put a gas utility shut-off wrench in your bag or attach it to your outside meter near the valve. They cost less than $5 at hardware stores. But be aware that you should only shut off your gas if you smell gas, which would indicate a leak or ruptured line, or have been instructed to turn off the gas by emergency personnel. Once you turn off gas to your house, only a trained technician utility person can reactive the line; you cannot do it yourself. Imagine being in line for that service if you turn off the gas and didn’t really need to during a disaster.
While you are thinking about the gas line, you should also know where your water-shutoff valve is and have a tool nearby to do emergency shut off should the water lines rupture as well. A brochure from the Seattle Neighbors Actively Prepare (SNAP) program shows how to shut off the gas, water and electrical power. SNAP groups receive training on how to utility shut off and more, consider starting a SNAP group in your neighborhood! Here’s the brochure.
P.S. Enjoy tests? If you’re really confident about your preparedness skills, take this one on the San Francisco Office Of Emergency Preparedness site.
Catch up with previous installments by going here. The most recent installment is always linked atop the BIG STORIES list in the sidebar on the right side of WSB pages.