Have you heard of PG&E's "Public Safety Power Shutoff" aka "PSPS"?
In their words, it is: "In order to keep communities safe, your local energy company may need to turn off power during extreme weather or wildfire conditions. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff."
This is NOT like a "Brown Out" condition - they will shut off ALL power; this includes those who are dependent on life-saving medical devices! Do you have a back-up plan in place?
We all can live without the TV, radio, and lighting, but can you afford to have your phone die? What about a nice cooling fan in this sweltering heat? It sure would be nice to have a power back-up on standby that is ready to go at a moment's notice!
PG&E suggests that you have a plan for contacting family members, an emergency supply kit, back-up charging methods, and a safety plan.
Take these steps before an outage
• Confirm or update your contact information with PG&E. We'll send notifications to the contacts we have on file in advance of a shutoff, when possible.
• Create a safety plan for all members of your family, including pets. A Public Safety Power Shutoff can happen at any time of day or night, due to changing weather conditions.
• Prepare an emergency supply kit. Include enough water and nonperishable food to last your household one week. Be sure to refresh your kit once a year.
• Determine if your landline will work during an outage. Keep a mobile phone as backup.
• Keep mobile phones and other devices charged.
• If you have a generator, make sure it's ready to operate safely.
• Have flashlights available for your household. Avoid using candles.
• Have a battery-powered or crank radio.
• Stock up on the right batteries for items you rely on. Include two extra sets in various sizes.
• Keep cash on hand and a full tank of gas. ATMs and gas stations may not be available during an outage.
• Learn how to manually open your garage or any other door that operates with electricity.
• 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.
Take these steps during an outage
• Unplug or turn off appliances, equipment and electronics to avoid damage caused by surges when the power is restored.
• Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns. Then, turn your appliances on, one at a time.
• Typically, your refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours and a full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours--as long as the freezer and refrigerator doors are kept closed. Consider using coolers with ice to keep food cold and safe.
• Be sure to use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills outdoors only. Do not use a gas stove for heat.
• Check on your neighbors.
For people who depend on electricity for medical needs
• Be ready to act if PG&E notifies you that a shutoff is possible.
• Keep emergency phone numbers handy and consider staying with a friend or relative during an outage.
• Check with local authorities regarding available resources.
What you can do to prepare NOW
As with any prepping, your earthquake, hurricane, or zombie kit can help overlap and help prepare for PSPS. We always recommend Solar Charging as a perfect solution to power woes. Unless there is some catastrophic event where the sun is blacked out, Solar charging can be done with minimal amounts of sunlight.
Wagan's Solar ePower Cube Solar Generator is the ultimate portable power source and only true Solar Generator in the market. Simply charge the internal battery using its 5 total solar panels, which fold out from the top and roll out from each side, and use the power to run your AC, USB or DC devices from anywhere. Recharge the built-in 55 or 100 AH AGM/gel hybrid battery faster using the included home AC or vehicle DC outlet. This renewable power source is extremely user friendly. This simple all in one unit is ready to be used out of the box; just charge the battery. No assembly or connections required.
Made of rugged watertight ABS plastic, the Solar eCase is a portable, reliable, and self-sufficient solar generator that can supply you with AC, DC and USB power no matter where you are. A completely self-contained true solar generator. No power? No problem when you have the Solar eCase at your side!
Featuring 120V AC (Power Inverter), 12V DC, and USB power ports, our Multi-function portable power supplies will keep all of your electronics charged; while the on-board air compressor and jump starter ensure that your vehicle will get you there.
USB Dome Lantern: Our Brite-Nite Dome USB Lantern will certainly light up your life. Utilizing a rechargeable lithium polymer battery, it is ideal for camping, hiking, emergencies, power outages, and other night-time outdoor activities and can recharge your USB powered devices too! With the powerful magnets, hanging hooks, rubber anti-slip feet, 3 lighting modes, and multi-function design, the Brite-Nite Dome USB Lantern will make your next camping trip conveniently bright while keeping your devices fully charged.
Wayfinder LED Light: Born from a company who loves the outdoors, the Wayfinder LED Light is an amalgamation of the best outdoor lighting implements; a high intensity LED Flashlight, broad-beam COB LED Lantern, and a rechargeable Li-ion battery. At work or play, let the Wayfinder lead the way. See the Wayfinder Light.
• PG&E: Public Safety Power Shutoff