SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — With a wet and cold winter storm arriving late Wednesday, and lasting through the weekend, PG&E is urging its customers to take the necessary steps to be prepared and stay safe.
Wet and windy weather will move north to south, impacting coastal and inland areas of Northern and Central California. Cold temperatures will bring snow to elevations below 1,000 feet in Northern California mountains and as low as 1,500 feet in Central California mountains. The most significant impact is expected along the northern coast and in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
“The cold, windy and wet weather might come as a surprise after the spring-like conditions so far in 2018, but we are very much still in winter. We encourage everyone to have a plan for this week’s storm and to be prepared for outages that could occur. We are closely tracking the weather and are ready to restore service safely and as quickly as possible,” said Pat Hogan, senior vice president, Electric Operations.
Storm Safety Tips:
• Never touch downed wires: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
• Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
• Have a backup phone: If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup.
• Have fresh drinking water, ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.
• Secure outdoor furniture: Deck furniture, lightweight yard structures and decorative lawn items should be secured as they can be blown by high winds and damage overhead power lines and property.
• Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to crews working on power lines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.
• Turn off appliances: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent 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.
• Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 811 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.
Other tips can be found at pge.com/beprepared.
Technology at Work for You
The integration of advanced communications and control technologies throughout the electric grid continues to enhance the resiliency of the system and helps identify and restore power outages more quickly as we face stronger and more regular storms across Northern and Central California.
In the last five years, PG&E has invested $15 billion to enhance and harden its electric transmission and distribution system assets. A wide range of factors, from the operation of new distribution control centers to the building of a smarter energy infrastructure to advances in forecasting and emergency planning, all contributed to better reliability during storms.
PG&E’s meteorology team has developed a Storm Outage Prediction Model that incorporates real-time weather forecasts, historic data and system knowledge to accurately show where and when storm impacts will be most severe. This model enables the company to pre-stage crews and equipment as storms approach to enable rapid response to outages.
For more information about outages and ways to prepare and stay safe during the storm, please visit www.pge.com.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies 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 pge.com/news.