SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) customers are responding to the energy company’s call-to-action to update their contact information, as part of a campaign encouraging customers to have a plan for the growing threat of climate-driven extreme weather and wildfires.
To help educate customers from Bakersfield to the Oregon border, PG&E has mailed letters and postcards and sent emails to more than 570,000 homes and businesses served by electric lines that run through high fire-threat areas. The company is informing customers that it may be necessary for PG&E to temporarily turn off power as a last resort for safety if extreme fire danger conditions occur.
More than 100,000 PG&E customers so far have updated their mobile numbers, email addresses and other contact information so PG&E can communicate with them through important wildfire safety alerts.
“With the 2018 wildfire season off to the worst start in 10 years, we all need to be better prepared to stay emergency-ready and keep our families and friends safe,” said Laurie Giammona, PG&E Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “We are asking our customers who live in or near high fire-threat areas to be sure we have their latest contact information so we can do our best to reach them in advance of a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff event.”
The Public Safety Power Shutoff program is one of many additional precautionary safety measures that the company is putting in place as part of its Community Wildfire Safety Program, intended to further reduce wildfire threats and strengthen communities for the future.
Wildfire Safety Alerts
Extreme weather threats can change quickly. PG&E’s goal, dependent on weather and other factors, is to send customer alerts through automated calls, texts and emails at 48 hours, again at 24 hours, and again just prior to shutting off power.
In addition to notifying customers directly, PG&E will provide outage updates and information through community channels such as social media, local news, radio and the pge.com website.
Importantly, these advance notifications are for a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff event to help reduce the risk of wildfire during the most extreme fire danger conditions. But loss of power can happen for a variety of reasons like storms or emergency response and there is no advance notice when PG&E needs to turn off power at the request of a first responder agency due to an active wildfire or other emergency response situation.
How Customers Can Take Action
PG&E thanks those customers who have taken action to ensure they will receive its wildfire safety alerts. For customers who have not yet confirmed or updated their contact information, PG&E strongly encourages everyone to do so by logging on at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling the PG&E contact center (1-866-743-6589).
Customers can visit pge.com/wildfiresafety to enter their address and find out if their home or business is served by an electric line that may be turned off for safety during high wildfire threats (click on “Check Your Address” under the “Shutting Off Power For Safety” tab). Customers will also find tips on preparing their own emergency plans.