PG&E is expanding and enhancing their programs to reduce wildfire risk by adopting a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” program. Beginning in 2019, electric lines that pass through certain high fire-threat areas in Marin and California may be shut down during extreme fire-weather event to prevent ignition of new fires.
We strongly recommend that all residents prepare for power outages before and during wildfires and other emergencies. We recommend these purchases at a minimum:
Battery-powered AM/FM/weather radio
Battery powered lanterns
Optional purchases include:
Battery powered cell phone chargers
Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) for home telephones and internet/routers
Large capacity batteries such as Yeti or Tesla brand
Battery backups for garage door openers
Permanently (professionally) installed home generators
Battery Powered Radios
All residents should purchase and learn how to use a battery powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather radio. Some models can be charged via built-in solar panels or hand cranks for continued operations during long power outages. Models from Midland and Eton are highly recommended.
NOAA Weather Radio is an automated 24-hour network of VHF FM weather radio stations in the United States that broadcast weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service office. Authorities may send out evacuation messages via weather radios. The National Weather Service sends out Red Flag Warnings and other extreme weather warnings by NOAA Weather Radio. Some models have the ability to sound an alert and flashlights when a warning is transmitted.
Monitor local radio stations like for fire and emergency information, especially when other communication sources are unavailable due to power outages or infrastructure damage.
Battery Powered Backup Lighting
When the power goes out, you will likely need to rely on battery powered backup lighting. Flashlights, though important, will not provide enough light to safely get around your home. Battery powered lanterns provide good lighting with long battery life and can be safely placed in several areas throughout the home. There are many relatively inexpensive products to choose from. Another option is battery powered, wall mounted lights, sometimes referred to as “closet lights” that can be mounted near existing light switches.
Whatever option you choose, be sure to have a good supply of small D, C, AA, AAA and 9volt.