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Community News

Posted on: October 8, 2019

PG&E Public Safety Shut Down: Union City Residents Potentially Impacted

There is a high-wind event coming through the Bay Area early Wednesday morning and PG&E has announced a power shut down event as a result. In case you haven't received a postcard from PG&E about this, the public utility agency is preparing for the upcoming wildfire season by implementing what's called a "public safety power shutoff" (PSPS). A PSPS is when they shut off the electricity lines during high fire risk conditions, such as high winds, dry conditions.

PG&E has indicated to us that they will notify customers today once a final decision is made to shut down power. At this time, PG&E’s map is showing parts of Union City’s eastside impacted by this power shut off. But, please note that PG&E will likely be updating their map with changes. You can find most updated information on impacted areas by going to PG&E’s interactive map:

https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/psps-service-impact-map.page

PG&E indicates that once power is down, they anticipate restoring power 24-48 hours later. Re-energizing the power grid may take longer if PG&E runs into damages caused by the high-wind event.

We are most concerned about families and individuals, especially elderly people, with challenges or people who are dependent on electricity for mobility/medical needs (i.e., elevators, electric wheelchairs, medical devices that require charging, etc.). For such individuals, consider using back-up batteries or generators to maintain use of medical/mobility devices; and or, speak with caretakers and family/friends about developing emergency plans.

Phone, cable, internet, and radio services may be affected during this time. East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) has information on their website regarding their emergency plans if the water system is impacted. You can learn more about EMBUD’s emergency plans here: www.ebmud.com/psps.

For those who have East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) as your source of energy, PG&E is still your utility provider, and you will be impacted during a shut off.

Hospitals and other emergency facilities, such as fire, police, and the community centers, throughout the region may be impacted by the outage. These facilities will rely on back-up generators, but service to the public may be limited. ‘

Solar panel-powered battery systems are a good alternative source during these outages.

If you have a PG&E account, make sure your contact info is updated so they can reach you. If you don't have an account (i.e., if your landlord owns the account), you can sign up for non-customer zip code alerts. Some numbers for translated alerts: please call for Chinese 1-800- 893-9555 or Spanish 1-800-660-6789.

For local alerts, text 94587 to 888777 or sign-up for City updates through our e-newsletter at www.unioncity.org/e-newsletter.

Here are more resources:

  • www.pge.com/wildfiresafety
  • https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/poweroutage.html

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