BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - To prepare for storms and minimize outages, PG&E has an extensive preventive maintenance and tree trimming program. Each year, the utility inspects every mile of line in its service area – more than 130,000 miles total – and spends more than $180 million to reduce the hazards of trees and bushes.
When outages do occur, PG&E employees remain focused on ensuring public safety, determining the extent of the damage, providing customers with all available information, and restoring service as quickly as possible.
PG&E offers the following suggestions to help customers prepare for the upcoming storm:
Preparing for Power Outages
· Have battery-operated flashlights and radios with fresh batteries ready. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
· If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work (such as a cordless phone or answering machine), plan for alternate communication - have a standard telephone handset, cellular telephone or pager ready as a backup.
· 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.
· Treat all downed power lines as if they are "live" or energized. Keep yourself and others away from them. Call 911, then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
· Use battery-operated flashlights, not candles.
· Customers with generator should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to our crews.
· Unplug or turn off all electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and 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.
Report a Power Outage: 1-800-743-5002
· Before calling PG&E about a power outage, check to see if other neighbors are affected. This would confirm if an outage has occurred in just your residence or within the neighborhood area.
· If only your residence is without power, check circuit breakers and/or fuse boxes to see if the problem is limited to the home electric system.
· After performing the steps above, single or neighborhood outages can be reported to: PG&E's 24-Hour Emergency and Customer Service Line: 1-800-743-5002.
· Once your outage has been reported, you can call PG&E's Outage Information Line at 1-800-743-5002 to get a status report on your outage and the anticipated time your power will be turned back on.