Possible PG and E Power shutoffs FAQ

As you know, we are reaching the peak of fire season and PG&E has been making public notifications about the possibility of power shutoffs and the impacts they could have on local areas. At this time, none of our school sites are affected. We are not scheduled to have any loss of power. We are monitoring closely and will communicate with families and school site staff as soon as we hear from PG and E and will send out auto-dialer calls and post on social media. Please refer to this FAQ sheet for additional information.  

 

PG&E Shutdown Info – Community and District

POSSIBLE PG&E POWER SHUTOFFS FAQ

What are preventive power shutoffs?

California’s investor-owned electric utilities, including PG&E, may shut off electric power, referred to as “de-energization” or Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS), to protect public safety. In the PSPS program, power may be cut on transmission and distribution lines in fire-prone areas when the risk of wildfire is deemed to be high.

Who determines when shutoffs will occur?

Each utility will decide whether to de-energize their lines based on a set of criteria in their wildfire prevention plan. For example, PG&E says it will consider shutoffs at humidity at or below 20 percent, average wind speed forecasts at 20 mph or higher, forecast wind gusts of 40 mph or higher, and field observations of dry fuel and live vegetation in the area of concern.

How long will shutoffs last?

PG&E suggests preparing for outages that could last longer than 48 hours as extreme weather conditions are variable.

Who will be affected by shutoffs?

Electricity customers in fire-prone areas are most likely to be affected. Please see the link to fire risk maps here. Due to the interconnected nature of the power grid, any electricity customer may be affected by power shutoffs, even customers in urban areas.

Will schools and public agencies receive priority notice of shutoffs?

Yes, according to PG&E. Schools are listed among the several categories of “critical facilities” that will receive priority notice of shutoffs.

Is anyone exempt from shutoffs?

No. Shutoffs cover the entire area downstream from the de-energized line. There is no way to exempt individual customers in the affected area. Customers with access and functional needs (called “AFN” populations) can get more information here.

What should we do to prepare?

We recommend that all electricity customers do the following to prepare for potential shutoffs.

  • Incorporate PSPS into your emergency plan, which should include stockpiling emergency supplies (water, flashlights and batteries, first aid supplies, etc.) as you would for an earthquake or other disaster
  • Consider purchase of a backup generator to power essential items and/or secure a place to rent.
  • Have a battery or other backup source for cell phones. Be aware that cell service may be affected by
  • Keep cash on hand and a full tank of

Are there additional considerations for public schools?

Yes. Schools and colleges may declare that a campus will close as soon as they receive an advance PSPS notice, to provide students and their families as much notice as possible.

HOW WILL CUSTOMERS BE NOTIFIED?

PG&E has created a website where it will post updates on weather and potential shutoffs.

Notice methods will include automated phone calls, texts, emails and online announcements. Whenever possible, notifications will adhere to the following minimum notification  timeline:

Anticipated de-energization (Shutoff of power)

  • 48-72 hours in advance: notification of public safety partners/priority notification entities
  • 24-48 hours in advance: notification of all other affected customers/populations
  • 1-4 hours in advance: notification of all affected customers/populations
  • When de-energization is initiated: notification of all affected customers/populations

Re-energization (Restoration of power)

  • Immediately before re-energization begins: notification of all affected customers/populations
  • When re-energization is complete: notification of all affected customers/populations