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PG&E Offers Storm Preparation Tips for Customers as Strong Weather System Approaches California PG&E Customers Should Call 1-800-PGE-5002 to Report Outages and Get Information

Release Date: December 17, 2007
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO – A powerful storm carrying heavy rain and strong winds is forecast to hit California tonight into tomorrow morning. Wind gusts up to 45 to 50 mph and rainfall totals between 0.5” and 1.5” are expected throughout Northern California, including the Bay Area.

The combination of strong winds and heavy rain could result in trees, tree limbs and other vegetation coming into contact with overhead power lines and interrupting electric service to customers. If customers experience a power outage, they should call PG&E’s outage information line at 1-800-PGE-5002 to report the outage or to get updates on power restoration efforts in their area. Calling this line is the most efficient way to get updated outage information.

PG&E electric crews and emergency personnel are on alert and ready to respond to outages when they occur. Through extensive preventative maintenance and an award-winning tree trimming program, PG&E works hard year-round to prepare for and minimize storm-related outages.

Here are a number of suggestions and tips from PG&E to help our customers before and during a storm:

Suggestions to help customers prepare for outages:

  • Have battery-operated radios with fresh batteries ready for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
  • Have battery-operated flashlights with fresh batteries on hand.
  • Have a cell phone or hard-wire, single-line telephone on hand. Cordless phones will not work without electricity.
  • PG&E recommends that customers do not use candles because of the risk of fire. If you must use candles, extreme caution is urged. Do not use candles near drapes, under lampshades, or near holiday trees. Keep candles away from small children, and do not leave candles unattended.
  • Fill used liter-size plastic soda bottles with water and place them in the freezer. During an extended outage, transfer them to the refrigerator to prevent food from spoiling. Open the refrigerator only when necessary, keeping warm air out and cooler air in.
  • If you have a generator, call PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-PGE-5000 to let us know. Make sure your generator is installed safely and properly. If it is not, you risk damaging your property and endangering yourself and PG&E line workers who may be working on power lines some distance from your home. Information on the safe installation of generators can be found on our website at www.pge.com/generator.

Some tips to follow during outage situations:

  • If you see a downed power line, assume it is “live” or carrying electric current. Do not touch or try to move it – and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines and other electric emergencies immediately by calling 911 and PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-PGE-5000.
  • If your power goes out, turn off or even unplug all electric appliances. Otherwise, when power is restored, several appliances may come back on at once and overload your circuits or hot appliances may come on while you’re away or asleep and pose a fire hazard. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
  • Customers should report power outages to PG&E by calling our outage information line at 1-800-PGE-5002. Customers can also call this number to receive updated information about an existing power outage in their area.

For more storm-related tips and information, please visit our web site at www.pge.com.

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