With potential fire weather blowing into the area starting tomorrow, and the Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service, Piedmonters should stay alert to the possibility of a Public Safety Power Shut-Off event by PG&E.
The Exedra checked in with Fire Chief Bret Black on the matter, and he noted that while there is a PSPS event currently planned to affect customers east of Highway 13, very near to the community, Piedmont is not currently in the scope for the PSPS.
He added two important caveats, however:
1. Because the impacted circuits are very close to Piedmont, an interruption could result in unplanned equipment failure and resulting power disruption for some parts of Piedmont. This happened last year during one of the events. Since last year PG&E is informing us they have improved their equipment and ability to isolate certain circuits.
2. The weather forecast is a prediction that can change. It is possible we could see conditions worsen beyond the prediction that would warrant broadening the scope of a PSPS.
As always, Chief Black urges Piedmont residents to update their information on AC Alert and PG&E website to ensure they receive the most current information.
Preparing for a potential shut-off (PSPS event)
To ready for a potential shut-off, the City recommends residents take the following steps:
- Make sure PG&E has your current contact information. Update your contact information with PG&E online at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or call (866) 743-6589.
- Check and update your emergency kit (HERE) and supplies (include hard copies of critical information and life-saving prescriptions).
- Identify a place you can go to cool off, if necessary
- Have a back-up charging system for cell phones and keep devices fully charged at all times.
- Learn how to manually open your garage door.
- Keep cash on hand (credit/debit stations, and ATMs may be without power).
- Learn more about Public Safety Power Shutoffs in your area (HERE) and work with your neighbors to make sure everyone is ready.
- Stay informed during disasters and sign up for alerts HERE.
Additionally, PG&E suggests that customers can better prepare for PSPS by:
- Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
- Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
- Keep in mind family members who are elderly, younger children and pets. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at pge.com/wildfiresafety.