Know how to turn off power, water and gas


Know where and how to turn off mains power, water, gas and solar power

To enable fast action in an emergency, draw a map of your property and clearly mark the location of your electrical switchboard, natural gas connection or tanks, water supply, and solar inverter, and keep this with your Household Emergency Plan.

Electrical Supply

Remember to turn off power at the main switch in your switchboard. Two separate inspections must occur on a cyclone-affected property before power can be reconnected to your property. Your electricity provider and a licensed electrician will both need to inspect and test household wiring.


If the water supply system has been flooded, assume it is contaminated. Damage to water pipes is reduced when depressurised. Shove a towel down into the water bowel and weigh that down with a sand bag or brick, to reduce contamination of floodwater by untreated sewage.


Turn off your gas supply or gas cylinders. Do not attempt to use gas appliances if your property has sustained damage. Any gas installation affected by cyclone damage must be checked by a licensed gasfitter, at your expense, before the gas supply can be restored. Your flood insurance might cover the expense. The operator should replace cycloone-affected regulators or meters that form part of the gas network.

Solar Power

If your solar system is at risk of being damaged during a cyclone, this is what you should do.

Your solar power system should shut down if mains power is turned off. However, you can manually turn off the solar power system by following the shutdown procedure listed on or near your solar inverter or meter box. Do not attempt to turn the solar power system on when floods have receded. Call your installer, explain the situation and ask them to recommission the system. Or call your licensed electrical contractor. The inverter will need to be replaced if it has been submerged.

Do not attempt to approach your solar power system or attempt to turn it off if any of the components are damaged or wet, as this could cause a lethal electric shock.

In the event your property is affected by a cyclone and you lose mains supply (grid supply) to your house, your photovoltaic array power system is designed to cut out immediately. Do not attempt to turn your inverter back on. If you wish to manually shut down your inverter, please read the instructions located on or near the inverter. Homeowners who are forced on to their rooftops to avoid floodwaters or a storm surge need to stay well clear of the panels and associated wiring, because the panels will continue to produce power event though the mains supply is off.

Only allow licensed electricians to access the switchboard or electrical equipment that has been affected by floods or damaged by a cyclone. If in doubt please do not put your life in danger and leave well alone.