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City of Sonoma Responds to Public Safety Power Shutoff “Watch”

Posted on September 23, 2019


PG&E 7-day potential PSPS forecast
Public Safety Power Shutoff Timeline Graphic
Click to View Timeline: PG&E PSPS Information

UPDATE 9/23, 1:15 PM: PG&E has announced that they do not project a power shutoff event for today, Monday 9/23 for Sonoma County. PG&E will continue to monitor the weather for a potential shutoff tomorrow, Tuesday 9/24. Visit their webpage for more information: https://www.pge.com/…/wildfires/psps-service-impact-map.page

9/23, 11:36 PM – PG&E ‪has raised the Pubic Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) potential from “Elevated” to “WATCH” for Monday (9/23) & Tuesday (9/24) in the North Bay. “WATCH” is PG&E’s medium level of potential for a PSPS. Residents in and around Sonoma may receive an automated phone call, text and or email from PG&E advising them of the “WATCH.” Learn more at PGE.com/weather or by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5009.

The City of Sonoma (City) has and continues to plan and prepare for PSPS events and is preparing to open our Emergency Operations Center. The purpose of this message is to provide as much early information as possible and to raise awareness and remind our community of the tools and resources available to monitor and prepare for potential power outages and PSPS events. The City has been working and preparing on the following measures to ensure that the City services will continue during an extended power outage and that we are ready to support our community:

  • Police, Fire Stations, and Public Works facilities have permanent generator support and are ready to respond.
  • City water service will continue, even without electricity.
  • Portable generators have been secured for City Hall and the Carnegie Building to continue key operations.

In response to the potential power shutdown, the County of Sonoma has declared a State of Emergency in an abundance of caution. The County of Sonoma Department of Emergency Management is taking steps in preparation for a potential power loss. Read the press release from the County of Sonoma to learn more.

We hope to have more information from PG&E this afternoon. If the City and Sonoma Valley Fire & Rescue Authority (SVFRA) are notified of a confirmed power shutoff, we will be sending out public information on the area to be affected and the anticipated duration of the outage. We will also be opening a Power Resource Site that will provide places for the community to gather in a cool facility and be able to plug in and recharge devices.

If PG&E determines the need to de-energize major transmission lines to prevent wildfires, we need to be prepared to be without power for as many as 5 days.  The potential loss of power for an extended period of time creates new challenges and uncertainty. Please take measures to prepare  today including:

  • Update contact information with energy companies to sign up for important outage alerts o PG&E customers: pge.com/mywildfirealerts 
  • Fill up your vehicle(s) with fuel. In the event of a PSPS, gas pumps will likely be out of service.
  • Power up cell phones and Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
  • Plan for any medical needs like medications that need to be refrigerated or devices that require power.
  • Plan for the needs of pets and livestock. 
  • Build or restock emergency kits with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and have cash on hand.
  • Designate an emergency meeting location. 
  • Know how to manually open garage doors. 
  • Ensure any backup generators are ready to safely operate. 
  • Identify the unique needs of your family and loved ones in the area for your emergency plan.

The City has information at for Sonoma residents and businesses to help prepare for a potential power shutoff on our Extended Power Outage webpage (http://www.sonomacity.org/extended-power-outages/) as part of the City’s Emergency Preparedness information where you can find more resources and information about PG&E’s PSPS program and ways you can better prepare for extended power outages.

We encourage you to take some time to review the presentation document and watch the recording of the update to City Council, read through the PSPS resident information, and take steps to ensure the safety, security and resiliency of your loved ones and community today by signing up for emergency alerts, making an evacuation plan, and building an emergency kit.

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