Power outages

Power outages can occur for a variety of reasons including earthquakes, severe storms or public safety power shutoff. Putting together a power outage plan now can help protect your health and safety in the event of a power failure.

Here are some basic tips for what to do In the event of a power outage

  • If you see a downed power line – stay away, and keep others away. Assume downed power lines are energized and dangerous. Call 9-1-1 immediately to report the location, then call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000
  • Report outages in your home or neighborhood to PG&E 24 hours a day at 1-800-743-5002
  • Find out whether your neighbors are affected by the outage, or if it’s just your property (check your circuit breakers and fuse boxes)
  • Learn the status and report outages online, or call PG&E  at 1-800-743-5002 
  • Unplug or turn off all appliances during an outage to help avoid overloading circuits when the power is restored
  • Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns

Take these steps in advance

  • Sign up to receive emergency alerts through SMC Alert
  • Keep a battery-operated flashlight and radio within easy reach. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages
  • Do not use wax candles – if you want to use candles, use only the safer LED candles
  • Keep a standard handset or mobile phone available – don’t depend on a phone that requires electricity to work
  • Store water-filled plastic containers in your freezer to use as blocks of ice to prevent food from spoiling

What is a public safety power shutoff (PSPS)? 

PG&E has developed plans to shutoff power during critical fire weather in order to reduce the risk of wildfire. A PSPS could lead to multiday outages in many areas during periods of extremely hot, dry and/or windy weather. A PSPS outage will last as long as the potentially dangerous weather conditions exist, plus the amount of times it takes for PG&E workers to inspect and repair their equipment in the affected area(s). Residents need to be prepared to endure a power outage lasting at least 3-5 days.

Learn more about PSPS and how to prepare.