Flood Preparedness

This section provides basic information about propane safety and how to keep your family safe during and after a flood.

Important Things to Know Before a Flood

Know what propane smells like. It has a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal.
Know how and where to turn off the propane. This includes your outdoor tank and your appliances inside. For help, contact your propane provider.

If You Smell Gas, at Anytime, Inside or Outside Your Home:


1. NO FLAMES OR SPARKS! Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or a fire.

2. LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY! Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.

3. SHUT OFF THE GAS. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so.To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).

4. REPORT THE LEAK. From a neighbor’s home or other building away from the gas leak, call your propane retailer right away. If you can’t reach your propane retailer, call 911 or your local fire department.

5. DO NOT RETURN TO THE BUILDING OR AREA until your propane retailer, emergency responder, or a qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so.

6. GET YOUR SYSTEM CHECKED. Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances,your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.


Important Things to Do Before a Flood

  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of propane in your tank.
  • Make sure your large propane tanks anre fastened down securely.
  • Make a list of instructions on how to turn of the electricity, propane, and water.
  • Consider installing carbon monoxide and propane gas detectors.

Should You Stay or Go?

If a flood threatens your safety, you may have to decide whether or not to leave your home. Listen to a local television or radio station for information and instructions.

If you decide to stay: BE PREPARED to move to a higher level within your home.

NEVER use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in CO poisoning or death. These include outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators.

NEVER use a gas oven or range-top burners to provide space heating.

NEVER store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.

Turn Off the Gas

If a flood threatens your safety, turn off the gas.

1. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).

2. Turn off the gas supply valves located near individual indoor appliances. Consult your propane retailer to make sure you know where the actual valves are located and how to shut them off.

After the Flood is Over

Use caution when returning to your home or farm:

  • Check for downed trees or power lines that can create safety hazards. Report any problems immediately.
  • DO NOT enter any buidings on your property unless it is safe to do so. If it is dark, use flashlights, not candles.
  • NEVER turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water. This can result in electrocution.

Floods can move, shift, or damage gas lines, tanks, and equipment.

  • Check your propane tank, appliances, chimneys, flue pipes, and vent connectors. If you see any damage or blockages, call your propane company.
  • If you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment or vehicles have been under water or damaged, or you have turned off your gas supply, DO NOT use until a service technician indicates it is safe.
  • If you find a propane tank on your property that is not yours – or if your propane tank is dislodged or missing – call your propane company or fire department immediately.

Make Time for Safety

Thank you for making time for propane safety. To learn more, download our brochure 'Propane Safety for You and Your Family' or visit userpropane.com