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Poll: Are You Prepared for Major Quake?

Thursday’s Great California Shakeout is a reminder to be prepared for a major disaster. Southern California Gas Co. offers the following tips. Are you prepared? Take our poll.

At 10:20 a.m. Thursday, about 2,931,877 people in Los Angeles County are set to take part in the Great California Shakeout, a disaster drill that helps schools, businesses and public and private agencies prepare for earthquakes.

October also is Earthquake Awareness Month. Are you good to go?

In preparation for the statewide earthquake drill, Southern California Gas Co. reminded residents Wednesday that the following safety tips could help reduce the chance of injuries or property damage in case the "big one" hits.

Before an earthquake:

  • Securely strap water heaters to prevent them from moving or toppling over. The water heater should be fastened securely to the wall studs in two places at the upper and lower one-third of the tank with heavy bolts and metal straps.
  • Replace semi-rigid (aluminum or copper) gas appliance connectors with approved connectors made of corrugated metal. These are less likely to crack during an earthquake.
  • Know where the natural gas meter is located. Gas meters are commonly located above ground next to the home on the side, front or back, but may also be in a cabinet or underground.
  • Have a 12-inch or larger adjustable wrench handy to manually turn off the gas meter should it be needed if a gas leak is suspected after an emergency.

After an earthquake:

  • Do not turn off the gas meter after an earthquake unless you smell gas, hear the sound of gas escaping or see other signs of a gas leak and only if it is safe to do so.
  • If there is an apparent gas leak, remain calm. Do not light a match, candle or cigarette, and do not turn electrical devices—not even a light switch—on or off. 
  • If a gas leak is suspected and it is safe to do so, turn the gas off at the meter.
  • If the gas is shut off at the meter, do not turn it back on yourself. Call your gas company to have the gas turned back on and to have the pilots relit.  

— Tips from the Southern California Gas Co.

Earlier: Photos: CERT Stages Earthquake Drill

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