As a November storm brings rain and wind to much of Northern California, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. reminds customers of the importance of winter storm safety.
Dirt and dust can build up on equipment throughout the year. The first of rains of the season, or even heavy mist or fog, can turn this accumulated dirt and dust to mud, which can conduct electricity and lead to outages and, in some cases, small pole fires.
PG&E reports that its meteorology team has developed a Storm Outage Prediction Model that incorporates real-time weather forecasts, historical data, and system knowledge to predict where and when storm impacts will be most severe. This model enables the company to prestage crews and equipment as storms approach to enable rapid response to outages. PG&E is urging its customers to take the necessary steps to be prepared and stay safe throughout the winter.
- Never touch downed wires. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and by calling PG&E at 1 (800) 743-5002.
- Use flashlights, not candles, during a power outage, due to the risk of fire.
- Have a standard telephone or cellular phone as a backup to a telephone system that requires electricity.
- Have fresh drinking water on hand, as well as ice to prevent food from spoiling in the refrigerator/freezer. Ice blocks can be made by freezing plastic containers filled with water.
- Use properly installed generators safely in a well-ventilated area.
- During an outage, turn off appliances except a single lamp to indicate the return of power.
- Clean up safely, including calling 811 or visiting 811express.com at least two full business days before digging.
Other tips can be found at pge.com/beprepared.
Information submitted by Pacific Gas and Electric Co.