Public Safety Power Shutoff
A Public Safety Power Shutoff involves the de-energization of electrical systems during extreme fire conditions. The risk of wildfires increases with high temperatures, high sustained and peak winds and low humidity. During these conditions, wind and trees can down electrical transmission and distribution lines, which can ignite fires.
PG&E has stated that in an attempt to reduce the chance of fire ignition in certain areas, they may de-energize electrical grids in advance of or during heightened risk conditions.
A CPUC Fire Threat Map was adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission. The map outlines fire threat areas within California. Tier 2 areas have been designated by the CPUC as at an elevated risk for wildfire. Tier 3 areas have been designated as at an extreme risk for wildfire. The most likely electric lines to be considered for de-energization for safety are those passing through Tier 2 or Tier 3 areas.
Beginning with the 2019 wildfire season, PG&E has announced that as an additional precautionary measure to further reduce wildfire risks, they are expanding their Public Safety Power Shutoff program beyond Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas. In 2019, lines considered for potential PSPS events will include all distribution and transmission lines at all voltages (500 kV and below) that traverse Tier 2 or Tier 3 areas. This means that while customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected, a Public Safety Power Shutoff could impact any customers who receive power from PG&E.
PG&E will attempt to notify customers of a PSPS event 48 hours in advance of power being turned off, 24 hours in advance and just before power is turned off. Notifications may also be made during the outage. Attempts to reach customers will be done by calls, texts or emails. Depending on conditions, these outages could last from several hours to multiple days. PG&E Medical Baseline Program customers may receive extra notifications in advance of a PSPS. For more information about the program, visit PG&E's Medical Baseline Program webpage.
Learn more about how to prepare for power outages.
Please visit the following sites for more information on the Public Safety Power Shutoff Program:
The Power of Being Prepared
PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)
PG&E Community Wildfire Safety Program Fact Sheet
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