Public Safety Power Shutoff
What is a Public Safety Power Shutoff?
For public safety, it may be necessary for us to turn off electricity when gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, are forecasted. This is called a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” or “PSPS.”
While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected, any of PG&E’s more than 5 million electric customers could have their power shut off. This is because the energy system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions.
We want to work together to help our customers prepare and keep your home, family or business safe during extreme weather and possible outages. Learn more about how to prepare a safety plan.
Please make sure we have your correct email address, landline and mobile number so we can reach out to you in advance of a public safety power outage, when and where possible.
Understand how a PSPS works
How will PG&E determine the need to turn off power for safety?
No single factor drives a Public Safety Power Shutoff, as each situation is unique. PG&E carefully reviews a combination of many criteria when determining if power should be turned off for safety. These factors generally include, but are not limited to:
- A Red Flag Warning declared by the National Weather Service
- Low humidity levels, generally 20 percent and below
- Forecasted sustained winds generally above 25 mph and wind gusts in excess of approximately 45 mph, depending on location and site-specific conditions such as temperature, terrain and local climate
- Condition of dry fuel on the ground and live vegetation (moisture content)
- On-the-ground, real-time observations from PG&E's Wildfire Safety Operations Center and field crews
Importantly, while we monitor and take into consideration Red Flag Warnings issued from the National Weather Service, the issuance of a Red Flag Warning does not automatically trigger a Public Safety Power Shutoff.
Visit PG&E weather awareness
Why would power be shut off in a community not experiencing high winds?
Predictions of strong winds are one of several criteria that we consider when deciding to initiate a Public Safety Power Shutoff, along with other factors like predictions of very low humidity levels combined with critically dry vegetation and on-the-ground observations.
Although you may not live or work in a high fire-threat area, or an area experiencing high winds, your power may be shut off if your community relies upon a line that runs through an area experiencing gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk.
How often will these public safety power shutoffs occur?
We anticipate that a Public Safety Power Shutoff could occur several times per year in PG&E’s service area although it is impossible to predict with certainty when, where and how often gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, could occur, given the rapidly changing environmental conditions.
While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected, any customer could have their power shut off if their community relies upon a line that passes through a high fire-threat area. We want all of our customers to be prepared for this possibility no matter where they live or work.
How will I know if I’m going to be impacted?
The most likely electric lines to be considered for a public safety power outage will be those that pass through areas that have been designated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) High Fire-Threat District map as at elevated (Tier 2) or extreme risk (Tier 3) for wildfire. Customers outside of these areas could have their power shut off, though, if their community relies upon a line that passes through a high fire-threat area. We want all of our customers to be prepared for possible public safety power outages. Please use these tips and tools:
- Check the PSPS event page. We will post updates regularly about a particular PSPS event. Visit the PSPS event page.
- Use our PSPS planning tools. When PG&E announces that a PSPS may or will occur, you can find out in advance if your address will be affected by visiting our Potential PSPS outage map.
- Update your contact information. When possible, we send alerts to PG&E customers in advance of and during a PSPS. Learn more below under “How and when will I be notified if a shutoff becomes necessary?” Update your contact information now.
- Contact your landlord or property manager. If your landlord or property manager is the PG&E account holder for your address, they will receive notifications on your behalf. We encourage you to contact them to confirm they know how to reach you. Or, sign up to receive PSPS ZIP Code Alerts for non-account holders directly from PG&E.
- Follow your local news and social media. We post PSPS updates on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Your local news outlet will also report the latest PSPS information.
I am a Medical Baseline customer and/or I have special medical needs. Will my power be shut off?
If we need to turn off an electric line for safety, all customers who receive power from that line will be affected. Emergency facilities such as hospitals and fire and police stations typically use generators to remain open.
A Public Safety Power Shutoff could last for several days. If you have special needs that require electricity, we ask that you have an emergency plan in place. Be ready to act if you are notified by PG&E that a shutoff is imminent. Keep emergency phone numbers handy and plan for a backup location you can relocate to, if necessary. Check with local authorities regarding available resources.
Download the Pacific ADA center’s Emergency Power Planning fact sheet (PDF, 272 KB)
Prepare for outages
If you are a Medical Baseline customer, please know that we will make every effort to notify you of a shutoff before it occurs:
- Outreach will be done through automated calls, texts and emails.
- If we don't speak to you or a family member directly, or receive confirmation of the email or text we send, we will follow up with a phone call.
- If a phone call is not successful, we will attempt to notify you in person at your address.
For more information, call 1-800-743-5000.
Make Sure We Have Your Current Contact Information
Receive alerts about a PSPS
How and when will I be notified if a shutoff becomes necessary?
Help us reach you
We use the contact information associated with your PG&E account to reach you. So, as a first step to keep you and your family safe, please make sure we have your correct email address, landline number and mobile number.
Update Your Contact Info
If your landlord or property manager is the PG&E account holder for your address, they will receive notifications on your behalf. We encourage you to contact them to confirm they know how to reach you. Or, sign up to receive PSPS ZIP Code Alerts for non-account holders directly from PG&E.
How you'll be notified
We’ll attempt to reach you through all contact methods you’ve provided. You could receive duplicate notifications by phone, email or text. Our goal is to leverage all available contact info to get you this important information and allow time to prepare your home or business.
We will also use social media channels and keep local news and radio outlets informed and updated.
Timing of notifications
If we need to turn off your power for safety, our goal is to provide advance notifications in three phases:
- Advance notification (when possible)
- 48 hours before electricity is turned off
- 24 hours before electricity is turned off
- Shutoff notification just before electricity is turned off
NOTE: Due to the focus on safety, the shutoff notification will be sent at any time, day or night. We will aim to send all other notifications between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. However, extreme weather threats can change quickly, and there may be some instances when notifications may be sent outside of those hours in the interest of safety.
- During the public safety outage
- Once power has been restored
Do I have to opt in to these alerts?
If you are a PG&E account holder, you do not need to sign up for a "PSPS alert" or a "wildfire alert." Customers impacted by a shutoff receive notifications by phone and email, when possible, in advance of the outage. We also send regular updates regarding power restoration. If you've provided multiple phone numbers, we’ll send notifications to each number.
Please make sure we have your current contact information.
Non-account holders: If you are not a direct customer of PG&E, you may sign up for PSPS ZIP Code Alerts.
We know how important electricity is to all, and if your power will not be available, we want you to know.
Can I opt out of these alerts?
PG&E-account holders cannot opt out of any of the advance notifications (48-hour, 24-hour or shutoff). Account holders can, however, opt out of updates during the public safety power outage, including the final communication letting customers know that power has been restored. This opt-out preference will only be in effect for the specific outage and will not carry over to any future outages. You will be able to opt out of updates during future outages.
Non PG&E-account holders may opt of PSPS ZIP Code Alerts (for non-account holders) at any time. The opt-out request will be permanent. To receive future outage alerts, non-account holders must re-enroll for PSPS ZIP Code Alerts.
During what hours of the day will these alerts be sent?
We will aim to send notifications between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. However, extreme weather threats can change quickly, and there may be some instances when notifications may be sent outside of those hours in the interest of safety.
Get outage and restoration information
How long will my electricity be out if you call a public safety power shutoff?
Each situation will be different, just like each day's weather. We expect to be able to visually inspect the system for damage and restore power to most of our customers within 24 to 48 hours after extreme weather has passed. Because extreme weather can last several hours or days, for planning purposes, we suggest customers prepare for outages that could last longer than 48 hours.
Prepare for outages
Where do I get the latest information?
Where do I get the latest information?
We will post updates about a particular PSPS event as they become available.
Visit the PSPS event page
Use the current outages map
- You don’t need to put in an address to see outages, though you can do this if you want to check a particular address.
- You don’t need to be logged in to use this map.
- The Public Safety Power Shutoff events are marked by purple flags or purple polygons. This map includes restoration information for each location, as it becomes available.
IMPORTANT: These purple flags appear only after an outage has begun, as shown in this example:
Visit outage map