If water from Hurricane Irene floods your basement this weekend, you could find yourself dealing with something more than a wet vacuum full of water.
Flooding can severely damage furnaces and natural gas appliances. Yankeegas recommends shutting off the natural gas supply valve to all gas appliances prior to evacuating a building.
If you smell gas during or after a flood, do NOT light matches, turn electrical switches on or off or use a telephone landline in the building. Get out of the building quickly then call your gas company or 911.
If water has covered the gas meter, call your gas company and ask them to come check the meter and regulator. Floodwaters could have shifted your home and damaged gas pipes, which could mean gas leaks. Do not try to start gas service up by yourself. Have a licensed plumber check, clean, repair and pressure test all gas pipes.
Wet wires are extremely hazardous. Have them inspected by the appropriate utility company. If you see a loose wire, consider it "live" and and stay away.
If a flood causes an oil spill in your home, you should contact your local Department of Environmental Conservation to report the spill. Whatever you do, do NOT pump the oily water into your yard. The oil could spread and contaminate other areas, such as nearby wells, streams, ponds and rivers or your neighbors' homes.
Oil-fired burners and boilers should not be started up again until they have checked by a service technician. Click here for more information.
Does your basement flood when it rains? Have you made plans to cope with Irene?