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   Home Emergencies

First Things


Signup for Smart911 and Reverse 911 (see Getting Started).


Make sure you have proper fire extinguishers (see Home Fire Risk) and know how to shutoff water and gas (see Water and Gas Leak sections).


The County recommends having 1 gallon of water per person per day for 7 days in the event of a disaster

Make sure you can communicate with family and get emergency notifications if there is a power outage. Consider getting a solar cell phone charger and an emergency radio (some have solar chargers).


Make sure flashlights are accessible and have good batteries.


Long Term Outages: Home solar panels will not provide power if there is a power loss. Review information below on alternatives for replacing gas and providing power during an outage.   

Home Fire Safety

Home Fire Risk

Fire alarms in your house are not connected to Cal Fire. If a fire occurs and your fire alarm goes off, you will need to call 911 unless you have contracted with an outside security alarm provider that provides this as a service.


Common locations for fires to start are the kitchen and garage/workshop. At a minimum, extinguishers should be in or adjacent to the kitchen and garage/workshop in your home.

See Fire Extinguisher Review to learn about selecting the type and size of fire extinguishers for your home. 

See House Fire Fact Sheet - SLO County for additional information about preparing for and responding to home fires.  




Water Leaks and Emergency Water Supplies

If water lines on your property are damaged you may have to turn off your water either inside your home or for your entire property. See Water Shutoff for more information. 

Emergency Water: Monarch Dunes owns its own water company (Woodlands Mutual Water Company (WMWCo)).The WMWCo has potable water wells on property that should be capable of meeting the needs of Monarch Dunes for up to 5 days in the event of a regional power loss if landscape watering is turned off.

County disaster planning organizations recommends having 1 gallon of water per person per day for 7 days. Distilled water lasts much longer than non distilled water. You can purchase containers designed to store water for a long period of time. Store emergency water containers in an area not exposed to direct sunlight to minimize bacterial growth.

While we should have water for 5 days in the event of a water emergency it is good to fill containers and your bathtub if there is an emergency that could effect water supplies. 

Gas Safety

Gas Leaks and Emergency Gas Supplies 

SoCal Gas supplies natural gas to Monarch Dunes.

Gas Leaks: If you think you have a gas leak you should know how to safely check for a leak and how to shut off your gas service. See Gas Shut-off  for safety tips about dealing with a gas leak and shutting off your gas. For additional information see SoCalGas Safety Tips. If you must shut off your gas, do not attempt to turn it back on yourself. 

Contact SoCal Gas at 1-800-427-2200 to reestablish service.   

Excess Flow Valve (automatic gas shut off): Most people should be able to shut off gas using a gas shut-off tool reviewed in the Gas Shut-off  pdf. If you will have difficulty shutting off your gas, you can have an Excess Flow Valve (EFV) installed that will automatically close and restrict the flow of natural gas in the event an underground pipe is damaged. SoCalGas can provide an estimate of the cost to install an EFV. See SoCalGas Excess Gas Flow Valve for information.

An EFV will not protect you from a gas leak in your home. Installing a gas shut off valve on your property requires a licensed installer. Once the valve is shut-off, SoCalGas can reset the valve. They will charge a fee if the shut-off valve is closed due to a non-earthquake occurrence. 

Electric Power

Electric Power Outages and Backup Options

Virtually everything you use relies on electrical power to operate (refrigerators, lights, phones, garage door openers, medical assistive devices, computers, etc.). Stocking up on nonperishable food and supplies that do not require power can make dealing with long term outage much easier. 

PG&E power outages periodically occur in Nipomo. Historically California has more power outages than any other state. See Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) for more information. You can check on the status of an outage at PG&E address lookup.

Your solar cells will not provide power for you home during a power outage. Your home requires regulated power. Power from your solar panels fluctuates (it is not regulated). PG&E collects this power and provides a credit. A backup power system can provide power during an electrical shutdown. The sections below review backup power alternatives. 


Backup Power Options

A solar powered mobile phone charger is an inexpensive option that can help you stay in communication with family and allow you to receive updates during a power outage. Once charged many solar cell chargers will retain charge for several months or longer. Emergency radios with integrated solar cell chargers often have a mobile phone charging port and many have a hand crank that can charge the radio and your phone simultaneously. See Solar Phone Chargers (Amazon).

Home Backup Power Systems

The ​Home Backup Power Systems pdf reviews backup power system alternatives including inverters that can be attached to your car's battery to provide power, fuel powered inverters, generators and Powerwalls that work with your home's rooftop solar cells 

The pdf also reviews typical power usage of items in your home to help you determine your power needs in the event of a long term power outage.

Example: Powering Electronics and Appliances from Your Car with an Inverter

Inverters that interface with your car batteries convert DC to AC Power and are relatively inexpensive. They will only support items that can be powered through a 3-pronged plug so they can't power items like an oven or built-in microwave and they will provide limited power for a limited amount of time. See the Home Backup Power Systems pdf for more information.

See Video using a car to power home appliances.


1)  Home Backup Power Systems – Home appliance and electronic power usage as well as battery, gasoline, natural gas and liquid propane power system alternatives.

2)  Vehicle Battery to AC Power Inverters (Amazon) – DC to AC battery inverters that use your car to generate power. Inverters provide different power levels. Choose one that fits your needs.

3)  Fuel Conversion Kits (Century Fuel Products) – Enter generator information to find kits that configure your generator to use other fuels (gasoline, natural gas, or propane).

Note: We provide links to assist you in your search for products. We are not endorsing specific products. Please make your own evaluation before purchasing a system.

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