Safety Shutoffs Will Begin Monday around 5 AM Depending on Location
Weather All Clears Anticipated as Early as Monday Afternoon, Allowing Power
Restoration to Begin
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) confirms that it is in the process of implementing a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) affecting about 7,100 customers in small portions of 10 counties. The first wave of targeted safety shutoffs will begin early Monday morning around 5:00 am.
The safety shutoff is due to dynamic weather conditions despite rain activity including a dry offshore wind event that will start Monday morning (Sept. 20) in portions of its service area. Due to changing weather conditions Sunday morning, PG&E was able to decrease customer impact, removing 10,000 customers from the PSPS scope.
As a result of this wind event, combined with extreme to exceptional drought conditions and extremely dry vegetation, PG&E began sending one-day advance notifications on Sunday to customers in areas where PG&E may need to proactively turn off power for safety to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized power lines.
Timeline for Safety Shutoffs
The times below are estimates and may change (earlier or later) dependent on the dynamic weather environment. Times below as of 4 p.m. on September 19, 2021:
PG&E anticipates weather “all clears” will occur as early as Monday, September 20, in the afternoon with varying times depending on individual locations.
Customers can look up their address at www.pge.com/pspsupdates to see if PG&E is monitoring their location for the potential safety shutoff.
The potential shutoff is expected to affect approximately 7,100 customers in these counties:
• Colusa County: 568 customers, 36 Medical Baseline customers
• Glenn County: 376 customers, 21 Medical Baseline customers
• Kern County: 845 customers, 40 Medical Baseline customers
• Lake County: 51 customers, 3 Medical Baseline customers
• Napa County: 1,225 customers, 66 Medical Baseline customers
• Santa Barbara County: 19 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customers
• Shasta County: 1,848 customers, 149 Medical Baseline customers
• Solano County: 802 customers, 56 Medical Baseline customers
• Tehama County: 1,370 customers, 133 Medical Baseline customers
• Yolo County: 20 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
*The following Tribal Community counts are included within the County level detail above.
• Cortina Rancheria Tribal community: 8 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customers
• Grindstone Rancheria Tribal community: 50 customers, 4 Medical Baseline customers
Restoration Expected to Begin Monday Afternoon
PG&E will notify customers on Monday when the weather system has passed and will provide continuous updates on when to expect the power to turn back on.
Once conditions are clear, our electric crews will begin patrolling and check de-energized lines for hazards or damage to make sure it is safe to restore power. Restoration steps include:
• Inspect: Our crews will work to visually inspect for potential weather-related damage to the lines, poles and towers.
• Repair: Where equipment damage is found, PG&E crews work to isolate the damaged area
from the rest of the system so other parts of the system can be restored.
• Restore: Once the poles, towers and lines are safe to energize, PG&E’s Control Center can complete the process and restore power to affected areas.
• Notification: Customers are notified that power has been restored.
How Customers Can Prepare
• Use a cell phone or hard-wired phone. Cordless phones do not work without electricity.
• Use battery-operated flashlights, not candles, which may pose a fire hazard.
• Unplug or turn off all electric and heat-producing appliances (e.g., air conditioners, washers and dryers, ovens, stoves, irons) to avoid overloading circuits. Overloaded circuits can be a fire hazard once power is restored.
• Unplug televisions and computers that were in use when the power went out. • Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed, and place extra containers of ice inside to preserve food. A full freezer will remain colder longer.
• Notify your alarm company if you have an alarm system. Equipment can be affected by outages.
• Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
• Reset clocks, thermostats and other programmed equipment after power is restored.
Backup power can be a vital part of any emergency preparedness plan in the event of a power outage. PG&E’s residential and business customers can review key considerations, safety tips, financing and retailer information by visiting pge.com/backuppower.
Monday morning, 15 Community Resource Centers (CRCs) in 10 counties will open to support customers affected by this event. View the most current list of CRCs at www.pge.com/pspsupdates. CRCs open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. for the remainder of the shutoff.
During a PSPS, PG&E opens CRCs where community members can access resources, including:
• A safe location to meet their basic power needs, such as charging medical equipment and electronic devices.
• Up-to-date information about the PSPS.
• Water, snacks and other essential items to reduce hardships to our customers.
To keep our customers and communities safe, all resource centers reflect appropriate COVID-
19 health considerations and federal, state and county guidelines.
Why PG&E Calls a PSPS Event
The sole purpose of a PSPS is to reduce the risk of major wildfires during severe weather. While a PSPS is an important wildfire safety tool, PG&E understands that losing power disrupts lives.
We initiate a PSPS event when the weather forecast is for such severe weather that people’s
safety, lives, homes and businesses may be in danger of wildfires.
As each weather situation is unique, we carefully review a combination of factors when deciding if power must be turned off. These factors include:
• Low humidity levels, generally 30% and below.
• A forecast of high winds, particularly sustained winds above 20 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 Wildfire Safety Operations Center and from our crews working across the service territory.
This year, our decision-making process is evolving to also account for the presence of trees tall enough to strike power lines when determining if a PSPS event is necessary.
Every wildfire season is different, and the ongoing drought and the conditions will determine the number of times we will need to shut off power, without compromising safety.
This set of criteria is a first step which may lead to further analysis from our meteorology team to determine if a PSPS event is necessary.
Here’s Where to Learn More
• PG&E’s emergency website (www.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 will 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 visiting www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-800-742-5000, where in-language support is available.
• Tenants and non-account holders can sign up to receive PSPS ZIP Code Alerts for any area where you do not have a PG&E account by visiting www.pge.com/pspszipcodealerts.
• At PG&E’s Safety Action Center (www.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.
PG&E’s Commitment to Wildfire Safety
PG&E’s multi-faceted Community Wildfire Safety Program includes both immediate and long-term action plans to further reduce wildfire risk and keep its customers and communities safe. Since 2018, PG&E’s wildfire safety work has resulted in:
• Multiple inspections of distribution, transmission and substation equipment in high fire- threat areas
• Hardening more than 600 miles with stronger lines and poles to better withstand severe
• Conducting enhanced vegetation safety work on nearly 5,000 line miles in high fire- threat areas (this is in addition to the more than 5 million trees that PG&E has trimmed or removed as part of its routine vegetation management and tree mortality efforts)
• Installing more than 1,000 sectionalizing devices and switches that limit the size of
Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) that are necessary to mitigate the risk of wildfires
• Installing more than 1,150 advanced weather stations to help PG&E gather more data and information to better predict and respond to extreme weather threats
• Installing more than 400 high-definition cameras to monitor and respond to wildfires
• Reserving more than 65 helicopters to quickly restore power after severe weather during
• Monitoring wildfire threats in real-time through a dedicated team at PG&E’s Wildfire
Safety Operations Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day during wildfire season
Ongoing PG&E Wildfire Mitigation and Resiliency Efforts
In addition to significantly expanding its undergrounding, PG&E’s ongoing safety work to enhance grid resilience and address the growing threat of severe weather and wildfires continues on a risk-based and data-driven basis, as outlined in PG&E’s 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Plan.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com