Prepare for a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)
Plan in advance to be without electricity
If you live in an area experiencing high winds or other severe weather, or your power lines travel into that area, we may shut off your electricity to prevent wildfire. This is called a PSPS.
We know losing power will be an unwelcome disruption to your life, family and work, so we’ve created preparation tips to keep things as normal as possible during a PSPS. We’ll also offer support like free wi-fi, device charging, bagged ice, ADA-accessible restrooms and hand-washing stations at Community Resource Centers in affected communities once the power has been turned off.
A PSPS means you could be without power for several days. We know it will be a hardship and want to help you prepare in advance. Use the following tips to get ready for and stay safe during a PSPS.
- Make your own ice ahead of time. Freeze containers of water to keep food cold while power is off.
- Before the outage begins, set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings until power is restored.
- Use coolers to keep food cold while power is off.
- Limit opening refrigerator and freezer doors. When power is off, food can be kept cold for up to four hours in refrigerators and up to 48 hours in freezers.
- Buy shelf stable foods.
- Have a backup key to replace electronic keys and locks which will not work.
- Turn off/disconnect electrical appliances or equipment, like T.V.s and computers, that may spark or surge when power returns.
- Buy a battery-powered or crank radio.
- Download or print documents you may need.
- Locate free Wi-Fi locations in adjacent areas.
- Invest in portable mobile and laptop battery chargers.
- Charge cell phones and backup chargers in advance.
- Stock up on batteries for items you rely on.
- Consider purchasing battery-powered LED lights or solar lanterns.
- Consider any needs for pets.
- Keep cash on hand and fill up gas tanks. Local ATMs and gas stations may close during an outage.
- Leave a light on to alert you when power returns.
- Keep flashlights in reach.
- Practice opening garage doors manually.
- Find space outside to use generators, camp stoves and charcoal grills.
- Write emergency numbers down somewhere accessible.
- Check on neighbors.
- Ensure backup power and generators are ready to safely operate. For more information, visit our backup power page.
- Stock up on first aid supplies.
- Stock prescription and non-prescription medications.
- Plan for medications that require refrigeration.
- Charge medical devices fully.
- For more information, customers with medical needs can visit our Medical Baseline page..
- Resources for those with accessibility, financial, language and aging needs
Use the following resources to get ready for the wildfire season.
- To create an emergency plan, visit the emergency plan page..
- To create an emergency preparedness kit, visit our emergency preparedness kit page.
- To learn about back-up power and if it’s right for your needs, visit our back-up power page.
- To learn more about wildfire safety and join a webinar, visit our wildfire safety webinars and events page.
- To learn where to safely plant vegetation to avoid power lines, visit our plant the right tree in the right place page.
- For more ways to prepare, visit the Safety Action Center.
Disability Disaster Access Program
Will you need extra help during a power shutoff? If you or someone you know has a disability or additional needs, the Disability Disaster Access Program can help. It is associated with the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers.
For more information, visit the Disability Disaster Access Program.
Do you depend on electricity for medical needs?
PG&E’s Medical Baseline Program is for customers who use certain life-support equipment. Also, those who require heating or cooling for medical conditions. Participants receive additional energy at the lowest price.
Medical Baseline customers also receive additional alerts, phone calls or a door knock during a PSPS.