Navigating Utility Equipment During a Home Emergency

A hand switching breakers on a circuit board

When an emergency hits your home, you don’t want to be stuck digging for instruction booklets or flipping through user manuals to try and figure out a solution. Especially when it comes to the utilities in your home, it’s a good idea to be prepared and confident as to the steps to take when something goes wrong.


Let’s go over the main utility areas in your home, and how you can restart, shut off, or control them in the event of an emergency.



There are a few reasons that you might need to shut off the water supply to your home. Water lines can become contaminated after a disaster, or leak water into your home, damaging your belongings and the structural integrity of your house. If you should need to shut off the water in your home, locate the main shut-off value. These are typically located in a few common places:

  • On a wall near the front of the house
  • In the garage
  • Near your water heater
  • On the ground outside near the street – sometimes covered in a box


Turning off the water can be one of the most stressful tasks if you have not taken the time beforehand to locate the valve and practice. Periodically, check this valve for damage or rust. This way, it can be replaced before it malfunctions.


Natural Gas

Did you know that the gas in your home is naturally odorless? Gas companies add that “rotten egg” smell as a warning system to homeowners that something is wrong. This is because natural gas leaks can be very dangerous. If you should ever smell natural gas in your home, it’s important to remove yourself and your family as quickly as possible and contact your gas company. Gas shut-off procedures will vary from home to home, so it is a good idea to know your procedure before the issue arises. You should ask for the instructions plan from your gas company.



Electrical outages are common after storms or natural disasters. To prevent further damage or electrical shocks, it’s a good idea to turn off the electricity in your home. First, determine whether it is safe to enter your home or whether you should wait for a qualified professional. If it is safe to do so, locate the main circuit box in your home. These are usually mounted on a wall in the basement (so bring a flashlight). There will be many switches including the main shut-off switch that blocks all electricity from entering your home. However, you should always shut off the individual switched before turning off the main electrical supply switch.




Home emergencies are stressful enough without being unsure of how to react. Royal Renovations is a full-service disaster restoration company. If you should experience damage from a storm, natural disaster, or another emergency, contact our team of experts. We’ll have your home restored and back in working order in no time.

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