SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — PG&E will shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people in the Bay Area amid forecasts of windy, dry weather that create extreme fire danger.
The company said it would begin turning off power to 800,000 customers in 34 counties starting after midnight Wednesday.
Bay Area residents are advised to be prepared for 48 to 72 hours without power.
Need to charge your cell phone during the power shutdown?
PG&E is setting up resource centers throughout the Bay Area for residents to charge their electronic devices, cool off in air conditions, grab a bottle of water and use the restroom.
Below are tips on how to prepare yourself and your home for a blackout.
Tips on How To Prepare For a Power Outage
- Update your contact information with PG&E so you stay informed
- Visit PGE.com/mywildfirealerts
- Or call 1-866-743-6589
- Talk to your doctor and plan for
- medications that need refrigeration
- medical devices that require power
- mobility needs
- Develop and update a hard copy emergency contact list
- Create a safety plan for all members of your family, including pets
- Practice manually opening your garage door
- Build or restock your emergency supply kit
- Battery-operated flashlights (not candles, they pose a fire hazard)
- Fresh batteries
- First aid supplies
- Food. Gather non-perishable food that doesn’t require cooking, as well as a manual can opener
- Cash (ATMs may be down during an outage)
- Portable charger for your cell phone
- Have a battery-powered or crank radio
- Baby and pet food
- Important documents
- >>Click here for more items to include in an emergency kit
- Consider staying with a friend of relative during an outage
- Ensure any backup generators are ready to safely operate
- Refill your car’s gas tank. If your vehicle is electric, make sure it’s fully charged
PG&E is also reminding people who rely on electric or battery-dependent medical tech such as assistive technology, breathing machines, power wheelchairs or scooters and home oxygen or dialysis to have a plan in place for an extended power outage.
What to do during an outage
- Unplug or turn off appliances, equipment and electronics to avoid damage caused by surges when the power is restored.
- Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns. Then, turn your appliances on, one at a time.
- Typically, your refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours and a full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours–as long as the freezer and refrigerator doors are kept closed. Consider using coolers with ice to keep food cold and safe.
- Be sure to use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills outdoors only. Do not use a gas stove for heat.
- Check on your neighbors.
- Sign up for PG&E Wildfire Alerts here
- MAP: PG&E Power Service Impact Map
- PG&E’s Prepare For Power Down Website
- Emergency Power Planning Fact Sheet for People Who Use Electricity and Battery Dependent Assistive Technology and Medical Devices
- Statewide Fact Sheet on Public Safety Power Shutoffs
- Checklist for your emergency supply kit
- CAL Fire’s tips for being ready for a wildfire