Severe Weather Tips
Before the Storm
- Customers are encouraged to know the location of their natural gas meter.
- Virginia Natural Gas advises customers to leave their gas meter on to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within their homes or businesses and to prevent water from entering the lines should flooding occur. Most gas appliances have safety valves that shut off the flow of gas automatically if the pilot light goes out.
- Your natural gas service should operate uninterrupted throughout the storm. Only Virginia Natural Gas or emergency personnel should turn the valve off. In cases of severe lightning, customers might want to unplug natural gas appliances to avoid possible electrical damage.
- Customers are urged to report a natural gas emergency to the Virginia Natural Gas 24-hour emergency response line at 877.572.3342. The damage assessment and restoration process begins once the storm has passed, and it’s safe for our crews to proceed with gathering information and determining the extent of the service needs in the affected areas.
During/Immediately After the storm
- Natural gas is injected with a chemical odorant called mercaptan, which many people equate to that of a distinctive “rotten egg” type scent. If the odor of gas is present when you return to your home, immediately leave the affected area and call our 24-hour emergency response line, at 877.572.3342 from a safe location. Residents should never try to identify the source of a leak themselves.
- If you smell gas, avoid using any sources of ignition, such as cell phones, cigarettes, matches, flashlights, electronic devices, motorized vehicles, light switches or landline as natural gas can ignite from a spark, possibly causing a fire or explosion.
- If flooding occurs at a residence or business and the gas appliances are or have been submerged under water, do not try to operate the appliances.
- During clean up and repair after a storm avoid causing damage to the gas lines by calling 811 before digging. This also pertains to removing downed trees as they can become entangled with natural gas lines.
- Following a weather emergency, ensure the gas meter is visible, and the area surrounding the meter is free of trash and debris. Mechanical equipment used after the storm to clean up a location may damage an unseen meter. If a natural gas meter is damaged or gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area and call our 24-hour emergency response number at 877.572.3342.
If your gas service was interrupted as a result of a severe storm, restoration time depends on when water recedes in flooded areas and customers’ homes and businesses are free of standing water, and when Virginia Natural Gas personnel can safely enter homes and businesses, and appliances are easily accessible by technicians.