The Power of Being Prepared

Public Power shutoff

The threats of wildfire and extreme weather in California are real.  As a result, California's three largest energy companies, at the direction of the California Public Utilities commission, are coordinating to prepare all Californians for the threat of wildfires and power outages during times of extreme weather.  To help protect customers and communities during extreme weather events, electric power may be shut off for public safety in an effort to prevent a wildfire.  They will monitor local fire danger and extreme weather conditions across California and evaluate whether to turn off electric power.  The decision and action to turn off power is made by each individual energy company and is based on a combination of factors.  These factors include but are not limited to:

          High winds (including red flag warnings)

          Low humidity

          Dry vegetation that could serve as fuel

          Fire threat to electric infrastructure

          On-the-ground observations

          Public safety risk

If a Public Safety Power shutoff is needed due to extreme conditions, you can expect:

          Early warning notification - Your energy company will aim to send customer alerts before shutting

               off power

          Ongoing Updates - Your energy company will provide ongoing updates through social media,

               local news outlets, and their website (prepareforpowerdown.com)

          Safety Inspections - After extreme weather has passed your energy company will inspect the lines

               in affected areas before power is safely restored.

          Power Restoration - Power outages could last multiple days depending on the severity of the 

               weather and other factors.  It is important that you and your family have an emergency

               preparedness plan in place.

Prepareforpowerdown.com provides a variety of resources, including tips for preparing for extreme weather, wildfires and Public Safety Power Shutoffs.  An emergency preparedness plan is recommended.

The following are things to consider:

          Update your contact information with your local energy company.

          Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.

          Plan for any medical needs like medications that need to be refrigerated or devices that require

               power.

          Plan for the needs of pets and livestock.

          Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies, and cash.

          Designate an emergency meeting location.

          Know how to manually open your gate or garage door.

          Ensure any backup generators are ready to safely operate.

          Identify the unique needs of your family and loved ones in the area for your emergency plan.

Additional Preparedness Resources:

ready.gov - Disaster preparedness information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

readyforwildfire.org - Cal Fire's wildfire preparedness website

cpuc.ca.gov/wildfiresinfo - information on the CPUC's wildfire safety efforts

caloes.ca.gov - California governor's Office of Emergency Services website

firesafecouncil.org - California fire Safe Council website

noaa.gov - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website

Oak to Timberline Fire Safe Council

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oaktotimberline.org                               PO Box 762, Squaw Valley, CA 93675

Funding provided by a grant from the Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, through the California Fire Safe Council. 

 

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. 

 

The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the California Fire Safe Council, U.S. Forest Service or the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the California Fire Safe Council or the U.S. Government.