It’s not ideal, but the Public Safety Power Shutoff that Poway residents and businesses experienced in December is a public safety tool that SDG&E will likely continue to plan for when our region is faced with a combination of elevated fire conditions and Santa Ana winds.
SDG&E has stated that Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) are a last resort to protect public safety and reduce wildfire risk, something that will hopefully help minimize having a repeat of the devastating 2007 Witch Creek Fire. SDG&E has also stated that the company is dedicated to doing everything possible to minimize impacts in the event of a PSPS.
When it comes to the power outages, the City of Poway is a customer the same as its residents and businesses and relies on the same sources of information from SDG&E, including the sdge.com/ready webpage. In the event of a power outage – no matter the cause – the city has emergency generators in place so that it can continue providing essential services and maintain critical infrastructure.
Given that last December’s PSPS will not be our last, the best thing we can do is be prepared. If you haven’t put together your family’s disaster plan, do it now and include long-term power outages on the list of emergencies to prepare for. Consider rotating a larger supply of fresh batteries in your emergency kit and purchasing a portable generator now so that you’re not scrambling to get one when needed.
Here are some resources to get you going:
Outages: How to Stay Safe (SDG&E)
Sign up for outage notifications (SDG&E)
Preparedness During a Pandemic (City of Poway & CERT Volunteers)
Ready, Set, Go program (International Association of Fire Chiefs)
Ready San Diego disaster preparedness (Ready San Diego)
SDG&E customers with medical devices that use power should apply for the energy company’s Medical Baseline program. One of the included services of the program is advance notification in the event of a planned outage, including a PSPS. Learn more here: Qualifying Based Medical Need | San Diego Gas & Electric (sdge.com).