- Storm safety
- Heat safety
Prepare for stormy weather in advance with PG&E safety tips.
Your safety is our first concern. There are many ways to prepare and keep safe during a storm. Learn how by reading our helpful tips.
Assume downed power lines are energized and dangerous. Stay away from the lines and keep others away from them. Call 9-1-1 immediately to report the location of a downed line. After reporting the downed line, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
Take steps now to stay safe in the event of a power outage:
- Keep a battery-operated flashlight and radio within easy reach. Ensure those items are always accessible and that your batteries are fresh. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
- Use safer LED candles. Wax candles are not recommended.
- Plan for another way to communicate. Don’t depend on a phone that requires electricity to communicate. Keep a standard handset or mobile phone ready as a backup.
- Store water-filled plastic containers in your freezer. You can use them as blocks of ice to prevent food from spoiling.
We want to help you prevent further damage during a storm or outage. Follow these safety tips:
- Avoid flooded locations and areas with downed trees. Both are typical places for downed lines to occur. Remember, call 9-1-1 first to report downed lines.
- Hire a licensed electrician to install your generator. Improperly installed generators can be dangerous for you, your family and our crews.
- Unplug or turn off all appliances during an outage. This action can help avoid overloading circuits when the power is restored.
- Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns. When the power is restored, you can begin to turn your appliances on, one at a time.
Power outages can be an unfortunate result of storm activity. Use the following steps to discover and report power outages in your area:
- Find out whether your neighbors are affected by the outage. Sometimes, the power is out only on your property.
- Check your circuit breakers and fuse boxes. This action can help you identify whether the problem is limited to your home. The power may be fixable with a few resets.
- Report outages in your home or neighborhood to PG&E. Call our 24-hour Power Outage Information Center at 1-800-743-5002.
- Learn the status of your outage. We can also provide an estimated timeframe for restoring your power. Call our 24-hour Power Outage Information Center at 1-800-743-5002.
Note: Our phone lines can become very busy during major storms. We ask for your patience if you’re trying to reach us.
Your life can be at risk if you stay in extreme heat for too long. Visiting a cooling center is one way to stay out of the heat.
A cooling center is a place where you and your family can go to cool off during hot summer days. Cooling centers are open to everyone.
Cooling center locations include:
- Government-run senior centers
- Community centers
- Parks and recreation sites
- Public buildings, such as libraries
Resources to find a cooling center near you
- Check with your local city or county for a comprehensive list of cooling centers.
- Visit Cal OES Cooling Centers for cooling center locations.
- Call the PG&E cooling center locator: 1-877-474-3266
Transportation to and from a cooling center is available. Call 211 or text 211-211, 24 hours a day. It’s free to call for California residents.
Prevent heat-related emergencies
Contact the State hotline for heat events at 1-877-435-7021. Follow these guidelines to stay safe during warm weather:
- Plan ahead and check the weather forecast.
- Stay hydrated.
- Go to a cool place like a mall or library.
Learn what extreme heat is and how you can protect yourself
When the heat is here, it means lots of fun in the sun! Nevertheless, the weather can get extremely hot and quickly go from fun to dangerous. Extreme heat can be life-threatening.
- Heat storm: Generally, heat storms occur when temperatures exceed 100°F over a large area for three days in a row.
- Heat wave: More than 48 hours of high heat (90°F or higher) and high humidity (80 percent relative humidity or higher) are expected.
Important: Check your local weather forecast so you can be prepared for a heat storm or a heat wave.
Heat-related illnesses can become serious or even deadly if unattended. Some of the risks people face from too much heat exposure and not staying cool are:
- Heat cramps: Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Generally, loss of water and salt from heavy sweating can cause cramps.
- Heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a warm, humid place, and body fluids are lost through heavy sweating.
Be sure to check for these signs:
- Cool, moist, pale, flushed or red skin
- Increased sweating, tiredness
- Fainting, nausea or vomiting
- Fast, shallow breath, dizziness
- Muscle cramps, weakness
- A weak, rapid pulse
Warning: Heat exhaustion can lead to a heat stroke, a life-threatening condition. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.
- Very high body temperature (over 105°F)
- Rapid pulse
- Shallow breathing
- Hot, red, dry skin
- Throbbing headache
- Failure to sweat
Heat cramps or heat exhaustion
- Cool the person slowly. Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position.
- Give fluids. If the person is fully awake and alert, give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Do not let him or her drink too quickly. Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them.
- Loosen clothing. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths such as towels. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if the person appears in need of medical attention.
- Call 9-1-1. Heat stroke is life-threatening and requires immediate emergency medical attention.
- Cool the person. Move the person to a cooler place. Wrap wet sheets around the person's body and fan it. If you have ice packs or cold packs, wrap them in a cloth and place them on each of the person's wrists and ankles, in the armpits and on the neck to cool the large blood vessels. Keep this process going until emergency medical help arrives.
- People with jobs that require physical exertion
- Infants and young children
- Animals and pets
- People with medical conditions: People with medical conditions like diabetes, respiratory problems, heart disease, obesity and alcoholism are at higher risk to suffer from extreme heat.
Go to a cool place: Consider going to an air-conditioned mall, library or other public place that will be cool. Go to a neighbor, friend or relative’s house that has air conditioning. Visit your local cooling center or, call 1-877-474-3266 for more information.
Stay in the shade: Direct sunlight can speed up the effect the heat has on your body. Do outdoor activities in the morning or evening hours, avoid being in the afternoon heat.
Stay hydrated: Keep drinking plenty of water, even if you're not thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
Take showers: A cool shower or bath is a great way to stay cool and much more effective than using an electric fan.
Limit physical activity: Take breaks during the day. Take a break if you are:
- Feeling dizzy
- Your heart is pounding
- Breathing becomes difficult
Plan ahead: Check the weather forecast to prepare for hot days.
Have a phone on you: Make sure you have a cell phone or hard-wired, single-line telephone.
Remember: Cordless phones will not work without electricity.
Keep an emergency contact list: Keep a list of emergency phone numbers near the phone.
Have a buddy system: During a heat wave, have someone, such as, a family member, friend or a local volunteer, check in on elderly or frail people. Check-in with your co-workers if you work outside.
Check up on loved ones: Call your neighbors, friends or relatives if you believe they might be susceptible to heat exposure.
Have back-up power: Have an emergency plan in place, including a back-up power supply if a member of your household depends on life support or medical equipment. If you are a senior or have a medical condition, you may be eligible for PG&E's Medical Baseline Program for discounted electric rates and Third-Party Notification Program for rotating outage alerts. For more information, call the Smarter Energy Line at 1-800-933-9555.
Get help: Sudden onset of dizziness, rapid heartbeat, nausea, headache, chest pain, mental changes or breathing problems are all warning signs that you should seek immediate attention. Call your doctor or 9-1-1.
When it gets hot, a lot of energy is used to keep cool. Here are some useful ways to stay cool and still save energy and save on your bill:
- Keep your thermostat at 78°F when you are home and at 85°F when you leave your home. If you are elderly, frail, or sensitive to extreme heat, lower your thermostat to a cool and comfortable level to avoid a heat-related illness.
- Keep many bottles of water in the refrigerator.
- Switch off unnecessary lights.
- Use your microwave to heat food instead of your oven.
- If you have a pool, reset your pool pump to run during off-peak hours of the day.
- Use energy-efficient products. PG&E provides cash rebates for selected equipment. Review our rebates or call our Smarter Energy Line at 1-800-933-9555.
More safety resources
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