PG&E Tells Residents to Prepare for Potential Planned Blackouts

SACRAMENTO COUNTY -- With Pacific Gas and Electric planning more blackouts in these hot temperatures, residents are starting to put their backup plans in place.

"Been off the grid for years. We have solar and then when the solar goes off, we have a generator that kicks on,” said Amador County resident Savannah Vindervenkinne.

PG&E said it will be turning the power off to various counties when fire danger is high.

Vindervenkinne and her family are prepared for any emergency. She said it's a relief not to have to depend on electrical companies for power.

“One time there was a blackout here. We didn't even know because it doesn't affect us,” she told FOX40.

Over the weekend, up to 22,000 customers in Napa, Yolo, Solano, Butte and Yuba counties were affected when the power company's Public Safety Power Shutoff program kicked in, cutting electricity from Saturday through Sunday.

“Really the design of that was to shut the power off in the interest of safety because we felt that weather had met the criteria,” said PG&E spokeswoman Brandi Merlo.

Despite the precautionary measures, a 2,200-acre fire erupted in Yolo County over the weekend. It was 50% contained by Monday night. The cause is still being determined.

PG&E looks at red flag warnings and temperatures, along with humidity and wind factors, which are dynamic and can change in an instance.

“We want our customers to be prepared,” Merlo said. “We also want to make sure customers with medical needs are paying attention. We want to make sure they have enough oxygen or they have the appropriate battery backups in place.”

Rancho Murieta resident Susie Grimm said she would be ready if she lost power for a few days.

“I have a lot of flashlights,” she said.

Although she doesn't have an alternate source for power, she said there are common sense things one can do.

“If you put stuff together and if you move the stuff from the refrigerator into the freezer and surround it with ice, you can have a better stay, like milk and stuff could be better,” Grimm said.

Others are getting a game plan together.

“We haven't even processed it. So, but it is scary, especially I have some elderly parents and if they were visiting, you know,” said Rancho Murieta resident John Patterson.

“We wouldn't even stay home,” said Kelly Dickson from Rancho Murieta.

PG&E does recommend making prior arrangements to stay with family or friends outside an affected area.

“It's something we have to figure out. We need, probably, an automatic generator,” Patterson said.

To learn more about what you should do in the event of a planned power shutoff, you can visit PG&E's outage readiness page. You can also download their "Emergency Supply Kit Checklist" below.

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