Due to concerns over high wildfire risk, PG&E has scheduled power blackouts throughout much of the Bay Area on Wednesday, October 9. Starting at midnight, the utility company will begin shutting off power to targeted areas in more than 30 counties, including Sonoma, Napa, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara. It’s estimated that up to 800,000 PG&E customers will be affected by the blackouts.
Forecast weather conditions for Wednesday include strong winds and low humidity—conditions similar to those that precipitated the Northern California wildfires of October 2017. By preemptively shutting off power to vulnerable areas, authorities aim to minimize the possibility of similar fire-related disasters.
If you reside in an area where the scheduled power outages will take effect, take measures to prepare your home and family. One smart step is to preemptively turn off electronic devices and appliances in your home. When power is restored to a home after an outage, there’s a spike in electrical demand from HVAC units, refrigerators and other electronics. If many appliances were left running before the scheduled outage, it could result in a power surge when electricity is restored. Turning off electronic devices and appliances in advance will reduce the risk of a power surge.
This is just one of many ways you can prepare for a scheduled power outage. You can also visit our Wildfire Resource Page to find information on preventing and responding to a wildfire in your area.