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On International ShakeOut Day, PG&E Provides Customers with Tips to Stay Safe During an Earthquake

October 20 is observed as International ShakeOut Day, when millions of people worldwide will participate in earthquake drills at work, school, or home. Earthquake safety is especially important in seismically active regions like California, and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) is raising awareness around steps that customers can take to increase safety in the event of an earthquake.

Earthquake safety starts by being prepared, having an emergency plan, and according to, the most important technique to protect yourself and your loved ones during any strong seismic event is to “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” At 10:20 am (local time) on Oct. 20, 2022, you can join millions of people across the world practicing earthquake safety by conducting a practice drill.

Stay safe during an earthquake

You can do many things to keep your home and family safe during a major earthquake. Preparing for such an event is important. Know what to do before, during and after a disaster. Establish a plan for your family to help ensure their safety.

  • Prepare an emergency plan, and practice the plan. Learn how to create an emergency plan. Visit PG&E’s Emergency Preparedness page.
  • Ensure that your emergency preparedness kit is up-to-date. Make sure that your kit allows your family to take care of themselves for at least three days. A kit that can last up to one week is ideal. More information can be found on PG&E’s Emergency Preparedness Kit web page.
  • Have your building and appliances inspected to make sure they can withstand an earthquake. Learn more about structural safety. Visit Earthquake Safety—Evaluate Your Home.
  • Locate your gas service shutoff valve and learn how to turn off your home’s gas. Gas shutoff includes your main line and individual appliances. Learn more about shutting off gas. More information on how to properly turn off natural gas service can be found at Turn Your Gas Off.
  • Avoid turning off your home’s gas without a clear sign that it is leaking. Depending on how many customers are without gas service, it may take an extended period of time for PG&E to turn your gas services back on.
  • Locate your main electric switch and learn how to turn off your electric supply.

Know what to do during an earthquake

  • Stay indoors if you are already inside. Take cover under a sturdy desk or table. Stay away from exterior walls, windows and masonry structures (such as fireplaces). Also, avoid tall furniture, hanging pictures and mirrors.

Follow these guidelines to stay safe during an earthquake:

  • Turn off the stove if you’re cooking before you take cover.
  • Stay away from buildings and power lines if you’re outdoors. Remain in open areas. Also, stay alert for falling debris.
  • Pull your vehicle over to the side of the road if you’re driving. Move the vehicle out of the path of traffic. Don’t stop on or under overpasses, bridges or tunnels. Don’t stop near electrical power lines, light posts, trees or signs. Stay in your car until the earthquake is over.

Follow these guidelines to stay safe after an earthquake occurs:

  • Make sure everyone around you is safe.
  • Inspect your building for damage. If you think that gas is leaking, don’t use anything electric. The spark can ignite the gas. Electrical items include switches, appliances and telephones.
  • Evacuate the building if you think a gas line is broken. Find a phone away from the building and call 9-1-1 immediately, then call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. Turn off the gas service shutoff valve typically located near the gas meter, if it’s safe to do so.
  • Evacuate the building if leaking gas starts to burn. Do not try to put the flame out. Call 9-1-1 immediately and then call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. Turn off the gas service shutoff valve typically located near the gas meter, if it’s safe to do so.
  • Avoid turning off your home’s gas without a clear sign that it is leaking. It may take a long time for PG&E to turn your gas services back on.
  • Check for downed or damaged electric utility lines. Stay away from downed or damaged power lines and never touch them. Downed wires can still carry current and can shock, injure or even kill if touched.
  • Check for damaged household electrical wiring. Shut off the power at the main electric switch if you suspect any damage. If your power goes out, turn off all electric appliances and unplug major electric appliances. This action helps prevent possible damage to the appliances when the power is restored.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and




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