Note rescheduled date due to the ongoing heatwave and possibility of rotating outages.

PG&E’s Alto substation, which provides power to Mill Valley and surrounding areas.

With the COVID-19 crisis continuing to wreak havoc on our lives and our local economy, we’d be remiss if we didn’t keep our eyes on fire season, which has already struck communities in both northern and southern California, along with the Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) that come with it.

With that in mind, Pacific Gas & Electric officials say they are working to reduce the impact of Public Safety Power Shutoff events and want to share safety information to help you prepare this wildfire season. The company is hosting a wildfire safety webinar and town hall on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 5:30-7pm, so resident can hear about PG&E’s safety efforts, including its wildfire prevention plans, as well as get answers to your questions and share your feedback with PG&E’s team. Here are the four primary topics the webinar will cover:

  • Making PSPS events smaller in size, shorter in length and smarter for customers
  • PG&E’s wildfire prevention plans
  • Progress on key wildfire safety initiatives
  • Resources you can use to prepare for PSPS events

PG&E notes that during the Oct. 7, 2019, PSPS event, was unavailable for customers due to the increase in the number of visitors. The website received more than 30 times the normal volume of traffic. The company says the new website is optimized to load quickly and has been tested to more than six times the peak traffic seen during 2019 PSPS events. PG&E says it has made improvements to its website so that when the company calls a PSPS event due to extreme weather conditions, customers visiting will be directed to the “Safety & Alert Center” website which will provide more detailed and accurate information as much as two days before the shutoff. 

PG&E says it has upgraded its notification process before, during and after a PSPS event. The more detailed notifications will show the date of the shutoff, the address that will be affected and estimated shutoff and restoration times. When possible, PG&E will try to notify customers of a PSPS event via automated call, text message or email two days prior, the day before, and just before power will be turned off. After power has been turned off, daily updates will be provided until power has been restored.

Company officials also said they’ve added tools like a new “all-in-one” map that combines three critical tools (address search, PSPS forecasted area maps and current outage maps) in one place. 

  • • Maps have been upgraded for 2020 to be more precise and provide more accurate details. 
  • • Last year’s address lookup tool has been redesigned to offer a text-based “no map” view of current and future outages. 
  • • New address lookup tool will help those on lower bandwidths get the information they need faster. Customers will also see simplified content and information that’s easier to read at-a-glance. 

No single factor drives a PSPS 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: 

  • • A Red Flag Warning declared by the National Weather Service 
  • • Low humidity levels, generally 20 percent and below 
  • • Forecasted sustained winds generally above 25 mph and wind gusts in excess of approximately 45 mph, depending on location and site-specific conditions such as temperature, terrain and local climate 
  • • Condition of dry fuel on the ground and live vegetation (moisture content) 
  • • On-the-ground, real-time observations from PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Operations Center and observations from PG&E field crews 

ACCESS THE WEBINAR ON AUG. 19, 5:30-7PM, BY GOING HERE or call 1-866-501-6088 » | Conference ID: 3567527.


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