Survival Buzz: Locate Your Utilities and Learn to Shut Them Off

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 1, 2019



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Welcome to the weekly Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

Since I was traveling most of this week, my preps centered around one single task: reviewing the location of the utility shut off valves in my home and making sure that they were still functional.  Don’t laugh.  A few years back our water shutoff was completely frozen and could not be turned to the off position.  Thankfully, we discovered the problem and had a plumber not only install a new shutoff, but check all of the plumbing valves in our home.

Locate Your Utilities and Learn How to Shut Them Off - Backdoor Survival

Understanding where your utility shutoffs are located is important but so is having the right tools to do the deed.  Not to worry, though.  Most of you will most like already have the tools but if not, you can get something like this 4 in 1 tool emergency tool I purchased awhile back.

Locate Your Utilities and Learn How to Shut Them Off - Backdoor Survival

I hung the 4 in 1 tool in my furnace room so I can get to it quickly.

This year, we actually attached a crescent wrench to our propane shutoff and mounted it on the side of the house so it will be right where we need it in the event of an emergency.  Notice the zip ties?  Very handy, indeed.

Locate Your Utilities and Learn How to Shut Them Off - Backdoor Survival

The crescent wrench is hanging right above our propane meter.

I also tested a new, cheapie flashlight this week.  My newest flashlight is this hand-press type. No batteries required.

Locate Your Utilities and Learn How to Shut Them Off - Backdoor Survival

Works pretty darn good.  Here is a link: Hand Press Flashlight

All you need to do is press the lever on the side to charge it up. The 3 LEDs are good enough to help you find your way around in the dark. I have been using mine constantly all week with no issues. Mine is blue because at the time I bought it, it was cheaper.  Right now, the price on the yellow one is better – with free shipping.

Current Giveaways

Here is this week’s giveaway.

Prepper Book Festival 8: Resurrecting Home by A. American + Giveaway

Remember, with all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.  Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article.  This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.

Coming Soon: A FREE Online Class on Solar Cooking

Confused about solar cooking?  Learn everything you need to know about solar cooking, using a solar oven, and the Sun Oven in particular, in this free webinar. This special class is free and it will take place on Tuesday, June 2nd at 7PM CDT.

In it you will learn:

  • How to harness the power of the sun to cook and dehydrate food, purify water, and be better prepared for emergencies
  • How a Sun Oven can help you never worry about burning dinner again
  • How to use a SUN OVEN to naturally dehydrate fruits and vegetables
  • How to reduce your utility bills while learning how to cook during hard times when normal fuel sources will be in short supply

This is going to be a fantastic opportunity for all of us, myself included.  Here are the details:

A FREE Online Class on Solar Cooking
Tuesday June 2
7 p.m. CDT

Click Here to Register

Whether you have a DIY solar cooker that you built yourself, a Sun Oven still sitting in its box, or are just curious and want to learn more you will find this class beneficial.  Me?  I am the person that has had a Sun Oven sitting in its box unused for a couple of years.

The Final Word

I have been taking your advice and spending less time sitting at the computer and more time enjoying life.  In case you did not notice, I also cut back blogging to 4 days a week instead of 5.  Now to be honest, I do have some 5 day weeks coming up but for the most part, my goal is to get down to 3 by the end of the year.

What am I doing in my spare time?  Last week I went to a concert in Seattle (fantastic!) and most days I take a three mile hike around what we like to call “the loop”.  It is a shoreline walk and with our glorious Pacific Northwest weather, I am making time to get outside each day for longer than my typical one mile trek.

The other big news is that I believe I have found the perfect Associate Editor to help with some of the backend website cleanup work.  I have a huge inventory of material that is not well categorized and hidden in the recesses on my archives.  With some help, I hope to bring these articles current so you can easily find them!

All in all, I want to thank each of you that made a comment or sent an email encouraging me to take my own advice and life life beyond just prepping.  I want to thank you for that.  After all, this is not a dress rehearsal.  A person’s lifetime, to the best of my knowledge,only comes around once.

So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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Here are this week’s picks, including a few from the newly updated:

On Duty Emergency Gas & Water Shutoff 4-n-1 Tool for Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Fires, Floods, Disasters and Emergencies:  The gas shutoff part does not work as well as a crescent wrench on my propane valve but the rest of the tool is very handy.  I especially like the part that will turn water off at the meter that is located at the street.  This is the same tool that is issued to members of CERT.

LED Hand Press No Battery Wind up Crank Flashlight:  You can’t beat the price with free shipping.  In a pinch, this will work fine.  No batteries required.

Solar Powered LED Inflatable Air Lantern by Survival Frog:  These are fantastic!  I own two and want to get more.  They just work!  For more information, read: Review: Inflatable Solar Air Lantern for Emergencies.

Ultra Bright LED Lantern – Collapsible:  This is a new addition to the most wished for list. Oh my gosh. I want one.  It uses 30 different LEDS and is powered by 3 AA batteries, including rechargeables.  Instead of a switch, you turn it on by extending the lantern from its collapsed condition.  With a lifetime warranty and over 1,350 close to perfect ratings, I can see why this is popular.  Did I mention I want one?


What are the best oils for your survival kit? Here are my top picks.

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival



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Best Food Types, Storage Methods and Exactly What to Buy

Download Now →

Updated Jul 1, 2019

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8 Responses to “Survival Buzz: Locate Your Utilities and Learn to Shut Them Off”

  1. I just want to thank you for all you do to help us! I do not feel like I am a very serious prepper, but when the latest hurricane prep list was published in our local florida newspaper, I realized I had everything completed on the list except for one thing! That has never happened before and I thank you for that. We lived through a hurricane once before and until you go through a natural disaster, it is hard to comprehend just what it is like. You do important work! Yes, please take more time for yourself to relax . You deserve fun and joy. I think one of the most important things any of us can do is to make our faith stronger and ask God to direct us in our paths of preparation. Only He knows what particular crisis we will be dealing with and what we will need to survive. Wishing you joy,,,which is a whole lot better and lasting than happiness. 🙂

  2. Dear Gaye, really appreciate your article on turning off utilities. In case of severe disruptive event, I think people should turn off or disconnect from their utilities right away instead of trying to get the last pint of water or the last toilet flush. The big danger is water contamination and backflow which is a polite word for what could happen to toilets and sinks.

    • I have been trying to focus each week on something we all can do that only takes a few minutes of our time. Last week it was basic firestarting.

      Sometimes it is good to go back to the basics of preparedness. These days, there is so much focus on what I call “extreme prepping” that we forget about the simpler things that are important (but not as headline grabbing, if you know what I mean).

  3. Also wanted to report what I am learning about various survival bags.
    1. My water bottle bag that I carry daili IS heavy. That is because it had 32oz of water. My conclusion is that the best way to carry heavy items is in a small bag. I would not want to be without a quart of water at all times because to get more requires finding the water, pre-filtering, and purification or building a fire and boiling. I think in a real disaster, we need a couple days to get our bearings before focusing on obtaining water.

  4. 2. Bug out bag. This is a previously packed bag that I’m overhauling. I took out all the dry food and water, and a few othe items. Then I weighed the bag with remaining items. It was only 16 pounds. It felt like 50. Then my husband hefted it. He said it felt like 30. Then I weighed my rice, beans, and oats. Only 15 pounds. Felt like thirty. My point is that my UNLIFTABLE bag is only 30 pounds with food. This was a “rude awakening” as the saying goes. My new goal is to get it down to 25 pounds. For comparison, in case anyone wants to weigh their bags, I’m a 53 year old out of shape female.

  5. I actually feel like I made some progress this week on my prepping. My pantry has been a hodgepodge of things for months and now is organized so that I can find what I need quickly. The many floods and storms in our area made it apparent to us that we need to have alternative routes so that was another of our ‘to do’s we accomplished this week. Next on our list is to get our tools organized and the ones we may need quickly available for emergencies. Need to purchase some watertight bins for storage too.
    Love your reminder about the basics of shutting off power/water/gas lines etc. So easy to forget that these things are necessary. It is these things we need to do first and foremost in an emergency.
    We have rural water and a septic system so trying to make a system available for us to store added water. We have bottled water but would like to have some sort of large water tank available as well, just need to find a good location for one that will be handy but not exposed to the elements too much.

  6. I ordered a couple old cookbooks from your list a few ago, and had a conversation about planning with some close friends. I feel a lot better about prepping now that I know I’m not alone in it.

  7. For our ancient anniversary, we bought each other a propane camper oven (on sale, of course). I really like it. Might put it in the kitchen to check it out. Yes, the coastal newspapers all published a “prep” pamphlet with lists of things to have on hand. We’ve got it! Don’t have the wool blanket though. I figure the mylar blankets I just got off Amazon will do over a quilt. My advice to young preppers is this: Pair up (marry) with someone who knows how to do things. I can sew, knit, crochet, cook, can, do laundry the old way, make soap & cleaners, etc. And I’m a computer guru. Big Guy is construction, machines, outdoors, security. We compliment each other. Think about it. I Read your “know me” article from 2013 and I think you’re the daughter I didn’t have. Keep up the good work and your fine attitude. Walk each day in JOY. We’re together. J


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