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Planning in advance to be without electricity

general emergency

With the increased wildfire threat our state faces, PG&E is enhancing and expanding our efforts to reduce wildfire risks and keep our customers and communities safe and prepared. This includes Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).

A PSPS could mean that you might be without power for several days, even if you do not live in a high fire-threat area. Losing power will undoubtedly bring challenges, but by preparing in advance you can reduce the stress and anxiety of a PSPS.

  • Update your contact information
    It is important that PG&E has your most recent contact information so you can be notified when an event could impact your home or business. Visit pge.com/mywildfirealerts or call 1-866-743-6589 to update your contact information.

    Not a PG&E account holder? Sign up for ZIP Code alerts
    Those who are not PG&E account holders can receive PSPS event notifications by ZIP Code. This is especially useful for tenants, caretakers, travelers, parents of school-age children and other non-account holders. The system allows you to select the ZIP Code(s) that you want to receive PSPS notifications for. Notifications are not address-specific as they are only based on the ZIP Code provided.

    Those who are interested in ZIP Code notifications can sign up for voice or text message alerts by calling 1-877-9000-PGE or texting “ENROLL” to 97633. More information about the tool is available at pge.com/pspszipcodealerts.
  • Create a safety plan for all members of your family, including pets
    Visit the PG&E Safety Action Center at safetyactioncenter.pge.com for tips on how to build an emergency plan.
  • Prepare an emergency supply kit
    Stock supplies for a week – include flashlights, first aid supplies, food, water and cash.
  • Fully charge your mobile phone
  • Make sure any backup power sources are ready to safely operate
    Visit pge.com/backuppower for safety tips.
  • Have flashlights available for your household
    Avoid using candles.
  • Have a battery-powered or crank radio
  • Stock up on the right batteries for items you rely on
    Make sure to include two extra sets in various sizes.
  • Keep cash on hand and a full tank of gas. ATMs and gas stations may not be available during an outage.
  • Practice opening and closing your garage door manually
  • Talk with your building manager
    If you live or work in a building that has elevators or electronic key card access, make sure you understand how your building will deal with potential multiple-day outages.
  • Keep emergency numbers handy
    Be ready to act if PG&E notifies you of a potential PSPS.

Additional considerations for those with access and functional/special medical needs

  • Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
  • Freeze large containers of water to keep food cold during an outage.
  • Fully charge your medical device(s) and consider securing backup power if you rely on power for your device(s).

Disability Disaster Access Program

assistance medical baselineWill you need extra help during a power shutoff? If you or someone you know has a disability or additional special needs, the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers can help you during a PSPS through the Disability Disaster Access Program. For more information please visit disabilitydisasteraccess.org.

  • Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns. When power returns, turn your appliances on, one at a time.
  • A typical refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours and a full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours--as long as the freezer and refrigerator doors remain closed. Consider using coolers with ice to keep food cold, safe and accessible.
  • Make sure generators, camp stoves, charcoal grills are used outdoors only. Do not use a gas stove for heat.
  • Check on your neighbors to see if they need help.

Do you depend on electricity for medical needs?

assistance medical baselinePG&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.

Apply for the Medical Baseline Program online at pge.com/medicalbaseline or by calling 1-800-743-5000.