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Storm, Outages Safety Tips from PG&E

With a series of storms poised to hit the Bay Area this week, residents are urged to read the following safety tips.

A series of powerful rainstorms starting hitting the Bay Area on Wednesday morning, dumping up to 8 inches of rain on parts of the region, and by Thursday night the wind and rain were picking up big-time.

To help residents prepare for stormy weather, PG&E is offering the following safety tips:

Preparing for Power Outages

  • Have battery-operated flashlights and radios with fresh batteries ready. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
  • If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work (such as a cordless phone or answering machine), plan for alternate communication - have a standard telephone handset, cellular telephone or pager ready as a back up.
  • Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling.

Safety Tips

  • Treat all downed power lines as if they are "live" or energized. Keep yourself and others away from them. Call 911, then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002. Making contact with a downed power line could be fatal.
  • Use battery-operated flashlights, not candles.
  • Customers with generator should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to our crews.
  • Unplug or turn off all electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.

Report a Power Outage: 1-800-743-5002

  • Before calling PG&E about a power outage, check to see if other neighbors are affected. This would confirm if an outage has occurred in just your residence or within the neighborhood area.
  • If only your residence is without power, check circuit breakers and/or fuse boxes to see if the problem is limited to the home electric system.
  • After performing the steps above, single or neighborhood outages can be reported to: PG&E's 24-Hour Emergency and Customer Service Line: 1-800-743-5002
  • Once your outage has been reported, you can call PG&E's Outage Information Line at 1-800-743-5002 to get a status report on your outage and the anticipated time your power will be turned back on.
  • If you lose power overnight, you can call PG&E to request a wake-up call. We'll be happy to give you a wake-up call, as well as up-to-date information on your outage and time of restoration.
Rico November 28, 2012 at 11:39 PM
PG&E did not mention one word about the SmartMeters reporting outages, for a good reason, THEY DON"T ! We had an outage here last year that affected 8 houses, and 5 of them have SmartMeters (3 of us never opted into the SmartMeter program on that circuit, and there are many more on my street). When I called PG&E to report the outage, they told me that there was no report of an outage yet on my circuit, the SmartMeters are useless in detecting outages, always call an outage in as soon as you notice it, that is the only way that PG&E will know that power is out. And keep in mind, the calls are normally serviced in a chronological order. FIFO. But, I have a friend who is a lineman, and PG&E is bringing in new trainees who don't know the area, the system and are not allowed to do much of anything because they are not qualified to. And about calling about a status report, it's a family joke. What I do is listen for the sound of PG&E trucks coming up the hill, and then when I see them, I go up and talk to them to find out what's really going on, sometimes I have to tell them what is going on, because I have lived at this address for over 30 years and I know the power distribution system here. Sometimes in severe events, PG&E brings in workers from all over the state, or even other states. When this happens, they really need someone locally to clue them in.

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