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PG&E To Customers: Have a Plan for Upcoming Spring Storms

SAN FRANCISCO — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) meteorologists are forecasting that spring storms will impact its service area today and Thursday.

PG&E meteorologists forecast a late spring storm moving into the service area beginning this afternoon, and they urge customers to take the necessary steps to be prepared and stay safe.

Moderate to heavy rain is forecast to begin tonight into early Thursday morning with gusty south winds 25 – 35 mph.

“With this late season storm approaching our service area, we encourage customers to be prepared and have a plan,” said Ron Richardson, Director of Distribution for Field Operations, North. “Our teams in the field are ready for the inclement weather, and should outages occur they will work safely and quickly to restore service to our customers.”

Storm Safety Tips:

  • Never touch downed wires: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
  • Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
  • Have a backup phone: If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup.
  • Have fresh drinking water, ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.
  • Secure outdoor furniture: Deck furniture, lightweight yard structures and decorative lawn items should be secured as they can be blown by high winds and damage overhead power lines and property.
  • Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on power lines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.
  • Turn off appliances: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
  • Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 811 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.

“PG&E’s meteorology team has developed a Storm Outage Prediction Model that incorporates real-time weather forecasts, historical data and system knowledge to predict where and when storm impacts will be most severe,” said spokesperson Denny Boyles in a statement released today.

“This model enables the company to pre-stage crews and equipment as storms approach to enable rapid response to outages.”

Other tips can be found at pge.com/beprepared.

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