With so little rainfall this autumn, fire season will last longer than usual. In response, PG&E is offering planning tips for dealing with power shutoffs and other emergencies. While some of these tips are specifically for older adults and individuals with independent living needs, others apply to everyone. Each of these tips comes with a link (in orange, below) to a PG&E web page with more information.
Before the next Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) comes our way:
Make an emergency plan and practice ahead of time with every member in your household (including pets). Be sure to map out alternative evacuation routes with accessibility in mind.
Develop an emergency kit and “go-bag” full of essential supplies including food, water, a flashlight, first-aid kit and other necessary items.
If you get an advance notice of a PSPS:
Organize a buddy system or phone tree so that family, friends and neighbors can check in on you if there is an emergency.
Pre-charge your medical devices, consider backup power options and keep ice packs and a cooler handy for any medications that require refrigeration.
If you or a member of your household is reliant on power for a medical device or has a serious illness, apply for PG&E’s Medical Baseline Program to receive extra alerts in the event of a planned power outage and perhaps lower your monthly energy bill.
If you have a medical need for electricity, you may also be eligible for a home battery with incentives covering 100% of costs under PG&E’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which covers the purchase cost of battery storage. Battery storage may be able to keep the power on during an outage from several hours up to multiple days.