PG&E recommends having an emergency kit

In May, 2019, PG&E sent a letter to customers notifying them about the possibility of preventative PG&E wildfire power outages. The purpose of these outages is to reduce wildfire risk. These outages, called "PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs," can potentially last for an extended period of time. In their letter to customers, PG&E said the following:

"Given the growing threat of extreme weather, we want all of our customers to be prepared for power outages. If extreme fire danger conditions threaten a portion of the electric system serving your community, it will be necessary for us to turn off electricity in the interest of public safety. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff.

What you need to know about Public Safety Power Shutoff

  • Before any Public Safety Power Shutoff, we carefully review a combination of criteria such as predictions of strong winds and very low humidity levels, along with critically dry vegetation and on-the-ground observations from field crews.
  • Because the energy system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions, your power may be shut off, even if you do not live or work in an area experiencing high winds or other extreme weather conditions. This is done for the safety of all communities and customers.
  • When we need to turn off your power, we will attempt to contact you in advance by phone, text and email, and provide updates through social media, local news, radio and the website.
  • We expect to be able to visually inspect the system for damage and restore power to most of our customers within 24 to 48 hours after extreme weather has passed.
  • Because extreme weather can last several hours or days, for planning purposes, we suggest customers prepare for outages that could last longer than 48 hours. [Ed. - emphasis added]

How to better prepare

We know how much our customers rely on electric service and want to work together to help you prepare for power outages related to extreme weather and wildfire threats. Here are some important steps you can take today:

The recent California wildfires that have devastated communities such as Paradise (the Camp Fire), Santa Rosa and Wine Country (the Tubbs Fire), Los Angeles and Ventura (the Woolsley Fire) and dozens of others have clearly shown the need for everyone to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice, and have shown the need to be able to grab their kits of emergency supplies on the way out. Unfortunately in these recent incidents, upon leaving their homes, many evacuees were stranded at makeshift campgrounds without emergency supplies and not able to even meet their own basic needs for supplies such as food and water.

Firefighters battling a wildfire

Firefighters battling a wildfire