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The original item was published from 8/29/2023 10:58:14 AM to 8/29/2023 10:58:42 AM.

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Emergency Preparedness

Posted on: August 29, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Dry, Northerly Winds Mean PG&E Might Need to Proactively Turn Off Power for Safety

Weather Alert and PG&E Update from Government and Community Partnerships Official, Mark van Gorder:

PG&E meteorologists and operations professionals are monitoring a potential dry, northerly wind event forecasted to start early Wednesday morning. The Sacramento Office of the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Day from Tuesday evening (8/29) through Wednesday evening (8/30). Given the wind event and current conditions including dry vegetation, PG&E has begun sending advanced notifications to customers — via text, email and automated phone call — in targeted areas where PG&E may need to proactively turn power off for safety to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized powerlines.

The potential Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event starting around 3 a.m. on Wednesday could affect approximately 8,000 customers in small portions of seven counties, mostly on the west side of the Sacramento Valley.

Conditions may change following the distribution of this media alert. PG&E’s in-house meteorologists, as well as its Emergency Operations Center and its Hazard Awareness & Warning Center (HAWC), continue to closely monitor conditions. We will share additional customer notifications as conditions evolve.

PG&E representatives will make individual, in-person visits, when possible, to customers enrolled in the company’s Medical Baseline Program who do not verify they have received these important safety communications, with a primary focus on customers who rely on electricity for critical life-sustaining equipment.


Potentially affected customers, counties

Customers can look up their address online to find out if their location is being monitored for the potential safety shutoff at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.

The potential shutoff is currently expected to affect approximately 8,000 customers across the following counties:

  • Colusa County: 531 customers, 38 Medical Baseline customers
  • Glenn County: 365 customers, 19 Medical Baseline customers
  • Lake County: 50 customers, 3 Medical Baseline customers
  • Napa County: 8 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers*
  • Shasta County: 3,812 customers, 356 Medical Baseline customers
  • Tehama County: 3,249 customers, 352 Medical Baseline customers
  • Yolo County: 30 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customers

Customers in Marin and Napa counties may lose power if anything causes an outage on lines enabled with Enhanced Power Safety Settings.    


 

Why PG&E calls a PSPS event

PG&E initiates PSPS when the fire-weather forecast is severe enough that people’s safety, lives homes and businesses may be in danger of wildfires. Our overarching goal is to stop catastrophic wildfires by proactively turning off power when extreme weather threatens our electric grid. We recognize that PSPS outages create hardships for our customers and communities. Our sole focus is to keep our customers safe.

As each weather situation is unique, we carefully review a combination of factors when deciding if power must be turned off. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • Low humidity levels, generally 30% and below.
  • A forecast of high winds, particularly sustained winds above 19 miles per hour and wind gusts above 30-40 miles per hour.
  • Condition of dry material on the ground and low moisture content of vegetation.
  • A Red Flag Warning declared by the National Weather Service.
  • Real-time ground observations from our crews working across the service area.

Our decision-making process also accounts for the presence of trees tall enough to strike powerlines.

This set of criteria is a first step, which may lead to further analysis by our meteorology team to determine if a PSPS event is necessary.


Additional PSPS resources

  • PG&E’s emergency website (pge.com/pspsupdates) is now available in 16 languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, Farsi, Arabic, Hmong, Khmer, Punjabi, Japanese, Thai, Portuguese and Hindi. Customers have the opportunity to choose their language of preference for viewing the information when visiting the website.
  • Customers are encouraged to update their contact information and indicate their preferred language for notifications by visitingpge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-800-743-5000, where in-language support is available.
  • Tenants and non-account holders can sign up to receive PSPS ZIP Code Alerts for any area they you do not have a PG&E account by visiting pge.com/pspsupdates.
  • At PG&E’s Safety Action Center(safetyactioncenter.pge.com) customers can prepare for emergencies. By using the "Make Your Own Emergency Plan" tool and answering a few short questions, visitors to the website can compile and organize the important information needed for a personalized family emergency plan. This includes phone numbers, escape routes and a family meeting location if an evacuation is necessary.

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