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Jul 13

Prepare for a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff

Posted on July 13, 2020 at 10:23 pm by Clay Curtin

High temperatures, extreme dryness and record-high winds have created conditions in our state where any spark at the wrong time and place can lead to a major wildfire. If severe weather threatens a portion of the electric system, it may be necessary for PG&E to turn off electricity in the interest of public safety. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff or PSPS.

Since the power grid is so interconnected, Menlo Park could experience an electricity shut-off even if there is not a high fire risk in our immediate area. PG&E says its goal is to provide customers with 48-hour notice of a planned shut-off and follow up that notice with updates. To sign up for alerts on upcoming power shut-offs in the area, make sure your contact information is updated with PG&E.

PG&E understands the importance of keeping the lights on during COVID-19, especially given the current stay at home orders. Their goal is shorten restoration times after high-risk weather clears, while ensuring public safety. 

Some tips to prepare:
  • Update your PG&E account contact information online or call 866-743-6589
  • Plan for any medical needs: talk with your doctor and plan for medications that need refrigeration or medical devices that require power
  • Keep a hard copy of emergency phone numbers and other important information readily available
  • Build or restock your emergency supply kit: include flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies, food, water and cash
  • Plan for alternate ways to charge devices
  • Plan for the needs of pets and livestock
  • Designate a family emergency meeting location and identify your evacuation routes. Roads may be blocked - know two ways out, and plan for two modes of travel (car, bike, walk). Tell someone out of the area which routes you plan to use.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full
  • Practice manually opening your garage door
For more information or questions, visit the PG&E website.