PG&E Monitoring a Mid-Week Potentially Strong Offshore Wind Event
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) operational and meteorological teams are monitoring a potentially strong offshore wind event on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The forecast remains uncertain, but there is a possibility that the weather could prompt a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) for some customers in the Sierra Foothills, North Valley and North Bay.
During late fall, PG&E’s service territory typically experiences dry vegetation (plants, shrubs, twigs and debris) that are ripe for igniting or spreading a wildfire. But dry vegetation conditions have worsened further due to above average temperatures for this time of year, the lack of rain and the recent series of extreme wind events.
Both the forecast and the scope of the weather event remain very fluid three days ahead of the event. At present, projections reflect a possible weather event similar to previous PSPS events that impacted about 180,000 customers.
Overall Improvements to PSPS Practices
Based on feedback from customers, other stakeholders and internal review sessions from the numerous PSPS events in October, many improvements have already been integrated into PG&E’s safety shutoff protocols, plans and procedures.
- The PSPS notification system has been expanded and refined to reach more people, more reliably.
- Our website and call centers are now able to handle much higher levels of traffic.
- We are enhancing the quality of our outage maps.
- We have improved coordination and communication with our government agency partners – including welcoming members of Cal OES, CAL FIRE and the CPUC to work alongside us in PG&E’s Emergency Operations Center.
- PG&E has invested more than $4 million in 2019 charitable contributions to emergency preparedness efforts in our service area, with an emphasis on vulnerable communities in high wildfire threat areas of the state, including supporting disaster readiness and response in vulnerable communities through partnerships with California Fire Foundation, American Red Cross, United Way and others.
- An example is a $250,000 grant to Interface Children and Family Services, an organization that bolsters the network of 211 resources in high wildfire threat communities to ensure access to emergency information for vulnerable populations and referrals to key services.
- Knowing that PSPS creates hardships for our customers, and especially for customers who are living close to the margins, PG&E has committed an additional $2 million in charitable funding to
support communities most impacted by PSPS.
- The emphasis is on organizations that have stepped up to provide support services to the most vulnerable members of our communities. This includes low-income children and families, communities of color, seniors, and Tribal members.
- We are identifying non-profit organizations which are already serving the most vulnerable in our communities, and helping to bolster their ability to provide food, water, shelter and support services on the ground in these communities when disasters strike, or during PSPS events.
- This effort complements our partnership with California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC). PG&E and the CFILC are collaborating to determine how to best serve the Access for Functional Needs (AFN) community before, during and after a PSPS event or other emergencies.
- During the October PSPS, using grant money from PG&E, the CFILC provided more than 150 batteries, nearly 80 hotel-night stays and transportation to Community Resource Centers, homes, hotels or other locations.
- The AFN community includes people with disabilities, customers currently enrolled in PG&E’s Medical Baseline Program, and/or the aging population.
Website, Call Centers