SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. September 21, 2019 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced it may be proactively turning power off for safety and conducting a Public Safety Power Shutoff within the next 48 hours. To help reduce the risk of wildfire and keep our customers, their families and their homes and businesses safe, the company may be turning off power in portions of the following counties: Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sutter, and Yuba.
We are working directly with state and local agencies to help prepare for this potential safety event.
“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is PG&E’s top priority. We know how much our customers rely on electric service and would only consider temporarily turning off power in the interest of safety when gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, threaten a portion of the electric system serving your community,” said Sumeet Singh, PG&E vice president of the Community Wildfire Safety Program.
Weather conditions can change quickly. Out of an abundance of caution, PG&E began providing notice to customers in advance of this safety event through automated phone calls, texts, social media and emails. PG&E will continue to provide early warning notification as well as updates until power is restored.
Customers are encouraged to visit pge.com/pspsupdates for the most up-to-date Public Safety Power Shutoff information, including a link to an address look-up tool where customers can search their address for potential impacts.
Public Safety Power Shutoff Criteria
No single factor drives a Public Safety Power Shutoff, as each situation is unique. PG&E carefully reviews a combination of many criteria when determining if power should be
turned off for safety. These factors generally include, but are not limited to:
- A Red Flag Warning declared by the National Weather Service
- Low humidity levels, generally 20 percent and below
- Forecasted sustained winds generally above 25 mph and wind gusts in excess of approximately 45 mph, depending on location and site-specific conditions such as temperature, terrain and local climate
- Condition of dry fuel on the ground and live vegetation (moisture content)
- On-the-ground, real-time observations from PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Operations Center and observations from PG&E field crews
How our customers can prepare
As part of these preparedness efforts, PG&E is asking customers to:
- Update their contact information at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours. PG&E will use this information to alert customers through automated calls, texts, and emails, when possible, prior to, and during, a PSPS.
- Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
- Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
- Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
- Keep in mind elderly family members, younger children and pets. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at pge.com/psps.
- Continue to monitor PG&E’s new weather forecasting web page at pge.com/weather which is a dedicated page with weather forecasting information and a daily 7-day PSPS lookahead.