With high winds forecasted for much of Northern and Central California this weekend, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. reminds its customers to be prepared in case of power outages. Although PG&E reports that it does not forecast the need for any public safety power shutoffs this weekend, windy conditions could lead to power outages.
PG&E’s in-house meteorology team and Hazard Awareness and Warning Center team monitor conditions 24/7 and continually apprise electric operations of current and forecasted conditions, said Paul Moreno, PG&E marketing and communications principal.
Ahead of the winds, PG&E crews have done pre-event patrols on 10 electric distribution circuits in areas identified by the meteorology team based on expected winds. In some cases, crews have done some additional vegetation management work. Similar pre-event patrols have been conducted on selected electric transmission lines.
PG&E reports that enhanced staffing of field resources will be in place, including members of the safety infrastructure and protection teams, to enable rapid response to any emerging issues.
Storm safety tips
PG&E shares these tips on storm and outage safety.
- Never touch downed wires: Those who see a downed power line should assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it — and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and then PG&E at 1 (800) 743-5002.
- Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should ensure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on powerlines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.
- Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights and not candles, due to the risk of fire. And keep extra batteries on hand. Those who must use candles should keep them away from drapes, lampshades, animals and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- Have a backup phone: Those with a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, should plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup. Having a portable charging device helps to keep cell phones running.
- Have fresh drinking water and ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in the refrigerator/freezer to prevent food spoilage.
- Turn off appliances: When experiencing an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to provide an alert when power returns.
- Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 811 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.
Information submitted by Pacific Gas and Electric Co.