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What to Do if the Power Goes Out: Safety Tips from PG&E

As successive storms continue to slam the North Bay, Pacific Gas & Electric provides a list of phone numbers and safety tips for customers.

Along with a flash flood watch in effect through Monday morning, residents of the Napa Valley and the rest of the North Bay are at risk of power outages from downed trees and high winds.

To help customers weather the storms in safety, PG&E offers the following tips:

Preparing for Power Outages

  • Have battery-operated flashlights and radios with fresh batteries ready. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
  • If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work (such as a cordless phone or answering machine), plan for alternate communication - have a standard telephone handset, cellular telephone or pager ready as a back up.
  • Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling.

Safety Tips

  • Treat all downed power lines as if they are "live" or energized. Keep yourself and others away from them. Call 911, then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002. Making contact with a downed power line could be fatal.
  • Use battery-operated flashlights, not candles.
  • Customers with generator should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to our crews.
  • Unplug or turn off all electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.

Report a Power Outage: 1-800-743-5002

  • Before calling PG&E about a power outage, check to see if other neighbors are affected. This would confirm if an outage has occurred in just your residence or within the neighborhood area.
  • If only your residence is without power, check circuit breakers and/or fuse boxes to see if the problem is limited to the home electric system.
  • After performing the steps above, single or neighborhood outages can be reported to: PG&E's 24-Hour Emergency and Customer Service Line: 1-800-743-5002
  • Once your outage has been reported, you can call PG&E's Outage Information Line at 1-800-743-5002 to get a status report on your outage and the anticipated time your power will be turned back on.
  • If you lose power overnight, you can call PG&E to request a wake-up call as well as up-to-date information on your outage and time of restoration.

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Cathy Gumina Odom December 01, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Also freeze salt water, gets colder faster, stays colder longer, and I think has a lower temperature degree as well.

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