PG&E Power Outage Preparation
There is currently no PG&E power outage, nor is there one planned for Pismo Beach at this time.
Your local government is prepared!
If extreme fire danger conditions threaten a portion of the electric system serving a community, PG&E may turn off electricity. Beginning with the 2019 wildfire season, PG&E announced expansion of their power shut-off program to include all electric lines (distribution and transmission) that pass through high fire-threat areas. This is one of the additional precautionary measures being implemented to help reduce the risk of wildfires.
The most likely electric lines to be considered for shutting off for safety will be those that pass through areas that have been designated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) as “elevated” (Tier 2) or “extreme” (Tier 3) risk for wildfire. Because the energy system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity, PG&E customers in Pismo Beach could potentially be affected by power outages if transmission lines serving the City of Pismo Beach pass through an area that is experiencing a PG&E Power Outage due to extreme fire danger conditions.
There are many questions and concerns that arise out of this PG&E Power Outage discussion—namely, what is our community doing about it? What are our procedures? On this page, you’ll find information about what to expect during the event of a PG&E Power Outage in Pismo Beach, FAQs, and some additional PG&E Power Outage resources.
What will happen during a PG&E power outage?
The City of Pismo Beach will continue to serve its residents with an uninterrupted potable water supply by using existing permanent and portable power generators. Residents will be asked to make efforts to limit water usage by turning off irrigation systems and only using water for essential needs. Irrigation of street medians and right-of-way landscaping will be stopped. If the power shut off goes beyond one day, water supplies to major industrial and commercial establishments may also be turned off to ensure water supply is available for the health and safety of city residents. Restrictions of water use will also be enforced on new construction. City irrigation systems for parks, sports facilities and public landscaping will be shut down to further conserve resources.
The City’s sewage system will continue functioning, as the City has the ability to extend the sewage system function with the use of existing generators and holding tanks for the primary treated effluent at the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). Residents would be asked to limit use of the sewage system by doing things like not flushing toilets as frequently. The City is actively exploring options to increase its capacity to operate the WWTP, including the construction of Central Coast Blue.
The traffic signals in Pismo Beach would not be functional in a power outage and therefore would become four-way stops by default in accordance with the California Vehicle Code. Motorists would be asked to follow all rules of the road and use caution in their travels.
The City has been in touch with cell phone companies and understand that they are actively working on their contingency plans to assist consumers in the event of a potential power shutdown by PG&E.
Public Safety (Police and Fire)
The Pismo Beach Police Department and Cal Fire are engaged in the incident action planning process with PG&E and other community stakeholders to develop an action plan. The action plan defines incident objectives and reflects the tactics necessary to manage an incident during an operational period. An operational period is typically 12-24 hours at the beginning of an incident requiring extensive response efforts, is established during Phase 1 of an incident and subsequently reviewed and adjusted throughout the life cycle of the incident, as operations require. The action plan will include guidelines for the potential activation of the Pismo Beach Emergency Operations Center if power to City Hall is lost, plans for communicating with employees and the public.
The City of Pismo Beach Police facility and Cal Fire stations that are staffed 24 hours a day are equipped with generators for providing power to those facilities. Public safety service delivery will continue in the case of a PG&E Power Outage, but the public should expect delays in response times due to an expected increase in call volume.
The City of Pismo Beach’s Public Works Corporation Yard has a back-up generator, fuel tanks onsite and a vehicle for fuel delivery to city facilities. In the event of a PG&E Power Outage, Public Works would be responsible for ensuring adequate fuel supplies for emergency vehicles and City back-up generators.
The City will continue advising residents through email, press releases, social media, the City website and public service announcements. In the case of a PG&E Power Outage affecting Pismo Beach, alerts and updates from the City will be made via email, the City website and social media advising of designated resource sites and other available resources based on the information provided at the time by PG&E.
How will the City communicate if the power is out?
In the event of a PG&E power outage, the City will be providing communication to the community via its website, Facebook, Twitter, and Notify Me. Please sign up and be prepared. City Staff is preparing to continue providing services and ensure critical system continue to be operational in the event of a power outage. The City will continue to use Channel 20 for those residents and businesses that may have generator power.
Additionally, starting the following day after the power goes out, the City will being using Information Centers:
The City of Pismo Beach will have two information centers available to share updates with members of the community not able to access social media, our website, or other media channels. The same information will be shared at both locations; there is no need to visit both sites. The following locations will be be utilized for this purpose. Updates will be available at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm. each day.
Dinosaur Caves Park (2701 Price Street, Pismo Beach, CA 93449)
Outlet Mall (333 5 Cities Drive, Pismo Beach, CA 93449)
The information shared will be from the City of Pismo Beach and not from PG&E. Due to the changing dynamics, we will not be able to answer questions during these updates. These community updates are not press conferences. The sole purpose is to communicate directly with residents, businesses, and visitors that do not have access to our digital informational updates.
How You Can Help Minimize the Impact of a PG&E Power Outage
In the event of a PG&E Power Outage affecting the City of Pismo Beach, the City is prepared to continue providing essential services to the community without power for a period of 48 hours. City leaders are currently assessing how to mitigate longer outages. PG&E expects to be able to visually inspect the system for damage and restore power to most customers within 24–48 hours after extreme weather has passed, but customers are encouraged to prepare for outages lasting longer than 48 hours. The public needs to update their contact info with PG&E to receive alerts/notifications directly, follow @PGE4ME on Twitter, visit pge.com for additional information on creating an emergency kit, checklist and obtain outage information–searches can be done by address/area to see if there are any outages, the reason for the outages & when power is expected to be restored. Most importantly, the public can sign up for text messages/emails to receive updates on specific outages via their website.
The City is currently conducting an assessment of current resources (e.g. generators, fuel sources, Pismo Beach Police Department emergency operations center, etc.), evaluating the potential impacts of a PG&E Power Outage to City services, and reviewing emergency operations plans already in place to develop a plan specifically for mitigating these events in the city. At this time, the community should plan to be self-sufficient, expect traffic and street lights not to be working, longer emergency services response times due to increased call volume, functional water and sewer services at a reduced level, potential cell service impacts and the closure of schools, banks and businesses (including gas stations).
How the Community Can Prepare for a PG&E Power Outage
- One of the key calls to action is for PG&E customers to update their contact information at their earliest convenience to help PG&E notify them in the event of a possible PG&E Power Outage:
- Update contact info with PG&E online or by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours to receive alerts directly from PG&E through automated calls, texts and emails, when and where possible, prior to a PG&E Power Outage
- PG&E accountholders can give permission to family members or friends who want to be notified of a PG&E Power Outage activation to add another person’s phone number to an account to be contacted to ensure they can help with their notification or emergency planning in the event of a PG&E Power Outage.
- Follow @PGE4ME on Twitter
- Sign up for text messages/emails to receive updates on specific PG&E outages
- PG&E customers dependent on life-support equipment (including CPAP machines) and/or require special heating or cooling needs for certain medical conditions should sign up for PG&E’s Medical Baseline Program, which provides additional energy at the lowest price for customers and ensure the special medical needs of these customers are addressed during a PG&E Power Outage.
- Check PG&E’s open house schedule for upcoming open house opportunities.
- Visit pge.com for additional information on creating an emergency kit, checklist and to obtain outage information–searches can be done by address/area to see if there are any outages, the reason for the outages & when power is expected to be restored.
- Develop your own plan using the aforementioned resources:
- Build or restock emergency supply kits with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
- If you have children, make sure any clothing set aside for an emergency still fits them.
- Check the expiration dates on medicine and emergency food items.
- Establish an emergency meeting location.
- Know how to manually open garage doors and automatic gates.
- Keep vehicles fueled up.
- Keep cell phones and/or other electronics charged.
- Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep a hard copy of emergency numbers on hand.
- Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
- Know how to turn off your main electricity switch at the time of the PG&E Power Outage, so when power comes back on the surge won’t ruin appliances.
- If considering using a back-up generator, visit pge.com/generator for information and helpful guides on sizing and safety tips to consider.
- Marketplace.pge.com is another resource with links and connections to vendors who provide generators and other resources.
- Use a qualified electrician to install generators to ensure that it is appropriately ventilated, safely connected to the grid and will disconnect from the grid – this is very important for the safety of PG&E field personnel who are working on the lines if generators are operating and not disconnected from the grid.
- If you have a standby emergency generator, make sure it is working and has fuel.
- Email PG&E with any outstanding PG&E Power Outage questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit the new City of Pismo Beach PG&E Power Outage Preparedness website for the latest information and updates specific to the City of Pismo Beach, along with links to various resources.
Emergency Supply Kits
Citizens are advised to create an emergency supply kit with enough supplies to last up to a week. That includes:
- Setting aside one gallon of drinking water per person, per day.
- Non-perishable food that is easy to prepare without power.
- Non-electric can opener, along with forks, spoons, and knives.
- Adequate baby and pet food for households that have them.
- Flashlights (do not use candles).
- At least two extra sets of batteries.
- A battery-powered or hand-crank weather radio.
- A mobile phone with a portable charger.
- Basic first aid kits, prescriptions, and non-prescription medicine.
- Toiletries, blankets, and clothing.
- Activities for children.
- Cash and credit cards (if possible, put aside at least $100 in cash.)
- Important documents and other useful items such as paper towels and trash bags.