A power outage happens when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may impact the whole community. A power outage may affect the following:
- Disrupt communications, water, and transportation
- Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services
- Cause food spoilage and water contamination
- Prevent the use of medical devices
Prepare Before the Outage
- Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines.
- Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
- Review the supplies you have available in case of a power outage.
- Have enough non-perishable food and water on-hand.
- Have a supply of battery-operated flashlights and radios.
- Plan for extra batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Sign up for local alerts and warning systems.
- Monitor weather reports. Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
- Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
- Have a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored.
- Throw out food if the temperature reached 40 degrees or higher.
- Try to keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks at least half-full.
Act During the Outage
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. Most refrigerators should keep food cold for about four hours. Most freezers should keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer.
- Maintain food supplies that do not require refrigeration.
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.
- Check on your neighbors. Older adults and young children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage.
Other Useful Links
PG&E is the main authority when dealing with power outages. They can help in many situations. To view more, visit their website.
Manage Your Account Online: A key step for power outages, updates, and other information is to ensure customers update their preferred contact information. Visit your account online and update your information.
PG&E Outage Alerts Page: PG&E will provide updates that include the cause of the outage as well as when you can expect power to be back on.
Community Wildfire Safety: PG&E provides safety information for the Community Wildfire Safety Program, shutting off power for safety, and tips for preparing for power outages.
Guidelines to Prepare for Emergencies: Information to help you stay safe during a natural disaster.
Power Outages Map: Page where residents can view, report, and get updates (email, phone, or text) of power outages in the area.
Stay Safe Around Power Lines: Power lines can be dangerous. Contact with power lines can cause fire or property damage, injury, and even death. It’s important to be aware of any power lines that are located close to you.
* The information on this website is provided under the California Emergency Services Act (California Government Code section 8550 et seq.) and for informational purposes only. The information on this website: (1) is necessarily general and not intended to be a complete guide to all things that can or should be done in the event of an emergency, (2) is subject to change at any time including in the event of an emergency, and (3) may not apply to your specific needs and/or circumstances in the event of an emergency. Emergency preparedness is your responsibility. Relevant information regarding a particular emergency may be different than the information provided on this website. All persons should consult relevant authorities for information regarding a particular emergency. There are many sources of information for emergency preparedness and all persons should consult as many resources as possible.