Home & Garden Columns

Quake Tip of the Week

By Larry Guillot
Friday June 30, 2006

Visited Your Shut-offs Lately? 


It’s time to get acquainted with your gas, electric, and water shut-offs. I’m finding in my earthquake consults that, even though most folks know where the cut-offs are, many aren’t sure how to operate one or more of them. 

Even worse: In more than half of my consults I discover that the gas valve is “frozen.” 

So, here’s the deal: 

1. know where gas, electric, and water shut-offs are 

2. make sure every capable person in the house knows how to operate them 

3. test the gas & water valves (slight movement to make sure they aren’t inoperable) 

If valves are frozen, call PG&E (gas) or EBMud (water) and ask that the valve be replaced or repaired: they will take care of the problem with no charge.  


Larry Guillot is owner of QuakePrepare, an earthquake consulting, securing, and kit supply service in the east bay. www.quakeprepare.com