As Early Season Storms Approach, PG&E Urges Safety and Preparedness
As the first storm of the season moves toward Northern and Central California packing rain and gusty winds, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is hard at work preparing for the storm. The energy company also encourages customers to have a plan, update their plan and to prepare for potential power outages. Above all else, PG&E reminds everyone to stay safe.
PG&E meteorologists say a series of early season storm systems will impact some parts of Northern and Central California starting Thursday afternoon and continuing on and off through the weekend. The storm series brings rain, along with breezy and gusty winds to the northern region and will also extend south to the Bay Area. PG&E is closely tracking the weather system and mobilizing crews and materials into areas that will feel the brunt of the storm, so they can get to work and restore service to impacted customers more quickly.
“Leveraging a combination of preparedness, practice and technology, PG&E is ready to respond to the first storms of the winter season that are approaching our service territory. Likewise, we encourage our customers to take the time now to make a plan or review their personal and family preparedness plans before the storm arrives,” said Barry Anderson, vice president, Electric Distribution, PG&E.
PG&E routinely practices its preparedness and response to storms and other emergencies through company exercises and through drills with local first responders. The company also utilizes the latest technology to restore power more quickly and efficiently after a storm. This includes the use of storm damage prediction models, the installation of automated equipment that "self-heals" the electric grid, and a network of more than 5 million electric SmartMeters that provide timely and accurate outage data.
PG&E urges customers to stay safe during storms and remember the following safety and readiness tips.
Be prepared before storms arrive:
- Have battery-operated flashlights and radios with fresh batteries ready.
- Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
- If you have a cordless phone or answering machine that requires electricity to work, have a standard telephone or cell phone ready as a backup.
- Keep your cell phone charged, and have a portable charging device handy.
- Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent food from spoiling.
If outages occur:
- Stay away from downed power lines. Treat all downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others well away from them and immediately call 911, then notify PG&E’s 24-hour emergency and customer service line at 1-800-743-5002.
- Candles pose a fire risk. Avoid using them during a power outage. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- If your power goes out, unplug or turn off electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
For the latest information on power restoration, customers can call PG&E’s outage information line at 1-800-743-5002. Updates are also available through a live outage map online at www.pge.com/outages.
In addition, PG&E also encourages customers around waterways to take appropriate precautions as rains could result in an increase in water flows, creating potentially dangerous conditions. Safety tips can be found here.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.