The prospect of a massive midweek power shutdown has public agencies across the Bay Area scrambling.
More than 800,000 PG&E customers have been alerted to possible de-energization expected to begin early Wednesday morning and continue until Thursday afternoon, due to high fire risk.
By Wednesday, gas pumps may be inoperable, along with traffic lights and ATMs. More than a dozen fires took homes and lives two years ago, and most of them were caused by the clash of trees and power equipment. The shutdown could stretch for five to seven days in some areas.
The possibility has businesses seeking generators, so they can continue operating. Public agencies are scrambling as they did two weeks ago, during threatened power shutoffs.
The city of Santa Rosa and county of Sonoma will have their emergency operations centers up and running Tuesday.
What makes this weather event different: the high winds will not only hit upper elevations, but also the flatlands and valleys. It’s a forecast eerily similar to two years ago, making an anxious anniversary even more so.
How should you prepare for a planned power outage?
- Keeping phones and other electronics charged while also having backup charging methods available. External batteries, solar chargers, hand-cranked chargers and car chargers are among the options.
- Building or replenishing emergency kits that include flashlights or other illumination devices, spare batteries, a first-aid kit, emergency food and water, and cash.
- Learning how to manually open your garage door.
- Unplugging electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and preventing fire hazards when power is restored.
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