PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff
PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Program
As of Summer 2019, PG&E adopted the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Program. As part of PG&E’s efforts to reduce wildfire risk, PG&E will turn off power on days with a high risk of wildfire. Some of the conditions that PG&E considers prior to a power shutoff include: low humidity, sustained winds, dry vegetation, and Red Flag Warning days. Based on those conditions and the fact that a large portion of our Town resides in a Very High Fire Hazard Area (VHFHA), there is a high likelihood that the Town and surrounding areas may experience one or more power shutoffs in the coming months. PG&E has informed customers that power outages due to PSPS events could last between two and seven days. Like the other natural hazards we face as Californians, Town residents, merchants, and visitors should be prepared in light of this new PG&E program and the risk of wildfire in our area.
In case of a PSPS, all Town services are expected to operate as normal with the exception of the Library, which may be closed. Please call ahead at (408) 354-6891 to check before visiting the Library during a PSPS.
Get the latest information on a PSPS event on PG&E’s PSPS webpage.
The best way to see if the power shutoff will affect you is by checking your address on the PG&E potential PSPS address-lookup map.
For weekly updates specific to Los Gatos, including PSPS information, please subscribe to the Town's "What's New" email list through the "Notify Me" website function.
PG&E’s Safety Action Center is a good resource for making sure your families, neighborhoods and pets are prepared in case of emergency.
How you can prepare for a potential multi-day power outage and stay safe:
- PG&E will aim to notify customers 48 hours in advance of a shutoff via phone call, text, or email. Update your contact information for notifications on PG&E's website or by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours.
- Backup electric power can be a part of any preparedness plan. Find out what you need to know about using backup power on PG&E's website.
- Prepare and practice an emergency plan that accounts for all family members and pets. The Santa Clara County Fire Department and Ready.gov websites have useful information for both wildfire and power outage preparedness:
- Prepare an emergency kit that will last at least 5 days--see the checklist on PG&E's Emergency Preparedness Kit webpage. Include enough water and nonperishable food to last your household one week. Be sure to refresh your kit once a year.
- Signup for AlertSCC and Nixle to ensure you receive local emergency communications.
- PG&E has indicated that they will make every effort to notify registered Medical Baseline customers that depend on electricity for a medical condition in the event of a PSPS. PG&E encourages Medical Baseline customers to register for notifications.
- Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
- Keep mobile phones and other devices charged.
- Have flashlights available for your household. Avoid using candles.
- Have a battery-powered or crank radio.
- Stock up on the right batteries for items you rely on. Include two extra sets in various sizes.
- Keep cash on hand and a full tank of gas. ATMs and gas stations may not be available during an outage.
- Learn how to manually open your garage or any other door that operates with electricity.
- Talk with your building manager if you live or work in a building that has elevators or electronic key card access to understand how they will deal with a possible multi-day outage.
- PG&E customers can also call the customer service line at 1-800-743-5000 and check PG&E's social media accounts for more information on how to prepare before and during a power outage:
- For more information on what to do during and after a Public Safety Power Shutoff, visit PG&E's PSPS preparedness webpage.
What to do during a power outage:
- Unplug or turn off appliances, equipment and electronics to avoid damage caused by surges when the power is restored.
- Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns. Then, turn your appliances on, one at a time.
- Typically, your refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours and a full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours--if the freezer and refrigerator doors are kept closed. Consider using coolers with ice to keep food cold and safe.
- Be sure to use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills outdoors only. Do not use a gas stove for heat.
- For emergencies that threaten life and safety, call 911.
- Check on your neighbors.
Traffic Safety During a PG&E Power Shutoff:
- Traffic signals and streetlights in the affected areas will not work, so please drive with caution:
Once the power is out, limit your driving as much as possible.
- Approach all intersections with caution. Remember a non-functioning or flashing traffic signal should be treated as a stop sign.
- Stop at dark signals.
- Obey all road closures and detours.
- Avoid driving at night if possible.
- If you must drive at night, use your headlights, stay alert, and be on the lookout for people walking and biking. There will be no streetlights to illuminate them.
- If you must walk or bike after dark, use a headlight or flashlight. Wear bright or reflective clothing. Wear a helmet if biking.