Public Safety Power Shut-Off Tips – City of San Jose Office of Emergency Management July 2019
- Sign up to receive power shutoff notifications from PG&E or make sure your contact info is up-to-date by visiting http://www.pge.com/psps orcalling PG&E at 1-866-743-6589.
- Prepare an emergency kit that will last at least 5 days with the following items:
•Water – water treatment and/or pumping may not work in a power outage, so have adequate water supplies on hand. Store at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person and each pet: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/creating-storing-emergency-water-suppl y.html.
•Food – have enough non-perishable food on hand and be aware of PG&E and USDA food safety tips regarding refrigerated and frozen food:
•Fully stocked freezers usually keep food frozen for two days after losing power (if not repeatedly opened).
•Half-full freezers usually keep food frozen for about one day (if not repeatedly opened).
•Refrigerators usually keep food cold for up to four hours if the door remains unopened.
•Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer. If the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40oFor below, the food is safe.
•When in doubt, throw it out.
•Radio – during a power outage, cell phone service is not guaranteed. Having a radio (battery-powered, solar-powered, or hand crank) will ensure you can access notifications and safety information
•First aid and medication – account for all first aid and medication needs, including medication that has to be refrigerated
•Sanitary wipes or hand sanitizer – tap water may not be safe during an outage
•Batteries – multiple types to power flashlights, radios, and other emergency equipment
•Flashlight and fans – get solar or battery powered flashlights or lanterns.
•Phone charger – solar-powered phone chargers or portable batteries
•Method for food preparation – get a manual can-opener, or if you have a barbeque, prepare extra charcoal or propane for cooking
•N95 masks – during an outage, generator usage will increase, resulting in increased local air pollution
3. Consider backup power sources:
1.If you have a generator, please keep your family safe by followingsafety tips. Do not operate it inside or near dry fuel, such as on top of grass. Prior to an outage, check to make sure it’s functioning on a regular basis. Have fuel on hand as gas stations may not work.
2.Solar panels will not work during an outage unless you have a special inverter or battery storage.
4. Prepare and practice an emergency plan that accounts for all family members and pets and considers the following:
•Cash on hand – ATMs may not work during an outage
•Full tank of gas in your car – gas stations may not work during an outage
•Phone numbers – write down key phone numbers in case your cell phone runs out of power. California law requires land lines to have at least a few hours of backup power.
•911 – call 911 only for emergencies, not to get information
•Garage door – know how to open it manually
•If you live in an apartment or condo: talk with your building manager if you live or work in a building that has elevators or electronic key card access to understand how they will deal with a possible multi-day outage.
•Family reunification – establish a meet up point in case of no cell reception
•Shelter in place – officials will likely ask you to shelter in place if you can. Note that traffic signals will not work, resulting in congested traffic
5. During an outage
1.Unplug or turn off appliances, equipment and electronics to avoid damage caused by surges when the power is restored
2.Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns. Then, turn your appliances on, one at a time
3.Do not use a gas stove for heat
4.Check the status of the outage at https://m.pge.com/#outages orby listening to the radio. PG&E has said it will send customers updates. Follow @CityofSanJose on Twitter, Facebook, or Nextdoor for secondary notifications.