As many as 42,000 PG&E customers in Kern County could lose power as soon as Wednesday afternoon. PG&E says the decision to shut off power comes from gusty winds and dry conditions and the possibility of wildfires.
As of midnight, a half million people in 22 counties in Northern California have been without power. The second phase could happen at noon Wednesday and could include another seven counties. Kern County would not be affected until a potential third phase is announced which could be announced Wednesday afternoon.
To stay alerted and know if your home is affected you can type in your address on the PG&E website. Due to high traffic volume, the site may not load.
In the meantime, here are some tips to help you prepare for the power shutoff:
- Prepare an emergency supply kit. Include enough water and non-perishable food to last your household one week.
- Keep mobile phones and other devices charged.
- Have flashlights available for your household and avoid using candles.
- Have a battery-powered or crank radio to keep updated on the latest conditions from local news.
- Keep cash on hand and a full tank of gas. ATMs and gas stations may not be available during an outage.
In addition, PG&E has provided some tips about what to do during an outage:
Unplug or turn off appliances, equipment, and electronics to avoid damage caused by surges when the power is restored.
- Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns. Then, turn your appliances on, one at a time.
- Typically, your refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours and a full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours as long as the freezer and refrigerator doors are kept closed.
- Consider using coolers with ice to keep food cold and safe.
- Be sure to use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills outdoors only. Do not use a gas stove for heat.
- And check on your neighbors.