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No single factor drives a Public Safety Power Shutoff, as each situation is unique. PG&E carefully reviews a combination of many criteria when determining if power should be turned off for safety. These factors generally include, but are not limited to:
Importantly, while PG&E monitors and takes into consideration Red Flag Warnings issued from the National Weather Service, the issuance of a Red Flag Warning does not automatically trigger a Public Safety Power Shutoff.
The most likely electric lines to be considered for a public safety power outage will be those that pass through areas that have been designated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) High Fire-Threat District map at elevated (Tier 2) or extreme risk (Tier 3) for wildfire. Customers outside of these areas could have their power shut off, though, if their community relies upon a line that passes through a high fire-threat area. PG&E wants all of its customers to be prepared for possible public safety power outages.
We anticipate that a Public Safety Power Shutoff could occur several times per year in PG&E’s service area although it is impossible to predict with certainty when, where and how often extreme weather conditions could occur given the rapidly changing environmental conditions.
While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected, any customer could have their power shut off if their community relies upon a line that passes through a high fire-threat area. PG&E wants all of its customers to be prepared for this possibility no matter where they live or work.
Predictions of strong winds are one of several criteria that PG&E considers when deciding to initiate a Public Safety Power Shutoff, along with other factors like predictions of very low humidity levels combined with critically dry vegetation and on-the-ground observations.
Although you may not live or work in a high fire-threat area, or an area experiencing high winds, your power may be shut off if your community relies upon a line that runs through an area experiencing gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk.
If PG&E needs to turn off an electric line for safety, all customers who receive power from that line would be affected. Emergency facilities such as hospitals and fire and police stations typically use generators to remain open.
A Public Safety Power Shutoff could last for several days. If you have special needs that require electricity, PG&E asks that you have an emergency plan in place. Be ready to act if you are notified by PG&E that a shutoff is imminent. Keep emergency phone numbers handy and plan for a backup location you can relocate to, if necessary. Check with local authorities via their website or social media regarding available resources.
If you are a Medical Baseline customer, please know that PG&E will make every effort to notify you of a shutoff before it occurs:
For questions, call 1-800-743-5000.
PG&E uses the contact information associated with your PG&E account to reach you. So, as a first step to keep you and your family safe, please make sure PG&E has your correct email address, landline number and mobile number. If your landlord or property manager is the PG&E account holder for your address, they will receive notifications on your behalf. PG&E encourages you to contact your landlord or property manager to confirm they know how to reach you and that they will share power shutoff information with you as needed.
PG&E will attempt to reach you through all contact methods you’ve provided to them. You could receive duplicate notifications by phone, email or text. PG&E’s goal is to leverage all available contact info to get you this important information and allow you time to prepare your home or business.
PG&E will also use social media channels and keep local news and radio outlets informed and updated.
If PG&E needs to turn off your power for safety, their state goal is to provide advance notifications in three phases:
1. Advance notification (when possible)
NOTE: Due to the focus on safety, the shutoff notification will be sent at any time, day or night. PG&E will aim to send all other notifications between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. However, extreme weather threats can change quickly, and there may be some instances when notifications may be sent outside of those hours in the interest of safety.
2. During the public safety outage
3. Once power has been restored
NOTE: If you need help to understand this important message in languages other than English, please call for Chinese 1-800-893-9555, Spanish 1-800-660-6789 or Vietnamese 1-800-298-8438.
No. PG&E will reach out to all impacted customers using all contact methods based on information associated with your account.
You cannot opt out of any of the advance notifications (48-hour, 24-hour or shutoff). You can, however, opt out of updates during the public safety power outage, including the final communication letting you know that power has been restored. This opt-out preference will only be in effect for the specific outage and will not carry over to any future outages. You will be able to opt out of updates during future outages.
PG&E will aim to send notifications between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. However, extreme weather threats can change quickly, and there may be some instances when notifications may be sent outside of those hours in the interest of safety.
PG&E wants to help all of its customers prepare with their own personal safety plans. In addition, customer contact information sometimes changes, and if customers haven’t updated their contact information, one or more of the methods PG&E has on file may be incorrect.
Each situation will be different, just like each day's weather. PG&E expects to be able to visually inspect the system for damage and restore power to most of its customers within 24 to 48 hours after extreme weather has passed. Because extreme weather can last several hours or days, for planning purposes, PG&E suggests customers prepare for outages that could last longer than 48 hours.
Just like each day’s weather, circumstances for each Public Safety Power Shutoff will be unique. The length of the outage, which includes the weather event plus restoration time, could last several days. PG&E will only restore power when it is safe to do so.
For planning purposes, PG&E suggests customers prepare for outages lasting longer than 48 hours.
PG&E does not reimburse customers for losses, as power will be shut off for safety when gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, threaten a portion of the electric system. Customers will not be charged for electricity usage during the time power is off because no power is being consumed. All customers should have an emergency plan and be prepared for any extended outages. Since a public Safety Power Shutoff could last for several days, PG&E encourages you to plan accordingly. Be aware that:
Check out PG&E’s emergency preparedness guide for more details
Prepare for outages
Review generator safety tips
PG&E advises you to think in advance about your family’s needs and how you might be impacted in the event of a power shutoff – or for any emergency. Please consider: