Power outages can happen for many reasons, and being prepared is an important part of your emergency plan. In order to keep communities safe, PG&E may need to shut off power to their distribution and transmission lines to prevent their equipment from starting wildfires during extreme weather or wildfire conditions. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).
The City of Monterey and surrounding communities could be subjected to a PSPS even if we are not at risk for a wildfire, a result of PG&E shutting down electrical lines that are in a wildland fire risk area that may be the feed for our power.
When the City receives notification about potential power outages or related impacts affecting our area, information will be posted on the monterey.org home and Emergency Resources main pages.
Prepare for a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)
The effects of climate change are making California’s wildfire season longer and more intense, threatening our homes, our lives and our economy. That’s why it is important to prepare an emergency plan in advance in the event your family is affected by a power shutoff – or any other emergency. The City of Monterey encourages residents and businesses to be aware of the potential for PG&E PSPS events and follow PG&E steps to prepare for multi-day power outages.
First, it is important that you plan for you and your family. Second, the City of Monterey is planning too. The City of Monterey is supporting residents by converting community centers to temporary resource centers during planned power shut downs. Depending on the specific event, one, a few, or all four community centers - Casanova Oak Knoll Park Center, El Estero Park Center, Hilltop Park Center, Scholze Park Center will be a place of safety and support if you need it. These facilities are not meant to act as shelters, but more as official information hubs.
While resources are limited, we will provide what we have available to residents for use while they are at the City facility.
What you can do to prepare:
- Register your cell phone with Alert Monterey County at alertmontereycounty.org and the Monterey Police – text 93940 to 888777 – delivers emergency notifications from Police, Fire, and/or Monterey County to residents and businesses
- Have a personal safety plan in place for every member of your household (including pets).
- Plan for any medical needs like medications that need to be refrigerated or devices that require power.
- Build or restock your emergency supply kit, including food, water, flashlights, a radio, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash. (PG&E also recommends making an emergency supply kit that will last for a 7-day power shutoff. PG&E has guidance for how long food will last in your refrigerator and freezer.)
- Identify backup charging methods for phones.
- If you own a backup generator, ensure it is ready to safely operate. Be sure that you are familiar with all the applicable safety guidelines and manufacturer instructions for backup power sources or other emergency kit supplies. It is important not to put yourself or your family at risk by using these items improperly. Never operate portable generators or gas heaters indoors.
- If you have rooftop solar, your panels will probably NOT work during a power outage unless you have a special inverter or battery storage.
- Also ask yourself these questions:
- Do you know how to open your garage door manually
- Do you have cash on hand and a full tank of gas, in the event ATMs and gas stations are unavailable?
- Are your mobile phones fully charged and/or backup batteries available?
Before and during a shutoff
PG&E has indicated notifications will be sent 48 hours and 24 hours before they shut off power if possible. PG&E has stated that it will attempt to send notifications via email, phone and text to the contact information it has for each customer. For more information about PG&E’s notifications and how to update your contact information, visit www.pge.com/psps or call PG&E at 1-866-743-6589.
As soon as City and County officials are made aware of PG&E’s shut off plans, Monterey will make efforts to provide supplemental or secondary notifications via Nextdoor, Twitter, Facebook, and/or alert notifications to mobile devices and emails. Visit monterey.org/emergency and follow @CityofMonterey on Twitter, and Facebook for updates.
If you are a PG&E Medical Baseline customer (dependent on electricity for your medical condition), PG&E has indicated that it will make the following effort to notify you of a shutoff before it occurs:
Outreach will be done through automated calls, texts and emails. If PG&E doesn't speak to you or a family member directly, or receive confirmation of the email or text they send, they will follow up with a phone call. If a phone call is not successful, they will attempt to notify you in person at your address.
Please see - https://www.cerv501c3.org/pages/power-outages-how-to-prepare - for more resources - Find one of these links outdated and no longer working - please let us know - email email@example.com
Back-up Generator Fact Sheet
Emergency Power Planning for people who use electricity and battery dependent assistive technology and medical devices
Preparing for power outages
Current Alerts and Helpful Resources
What is a Public Safety Power Shutoff?