Public Safety Power Shutoff

Thermometer in the Sunshine
Men Working on the Power Grid Outdoors
Candles and Batteries During an Emergency Power Shut off

Public Safety Power Shutoff Informational Webinar (Recording)

Public Safety Power Shutoff Webinar (Sept. 8, 2020 ) from Town of Los Altos Hills on Vimeo.

This PSPS webinar provides updates and highlights of the 2020 PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff plan. The webinar will be hosted by the Town's Consultant Emergency Preparedness Manager, Marsha Hovey.

The webinar discusses strategies and resources to manage any long-term power outages from PSPS, earthquakes or storms, dispels myths about different types of power generation and offers practical ideas for managing a 5-7 day outage.

This information is particularly useful when planning for family members who may use assistive devices powered by electricity.

Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS)

Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) are planned outages initiated by PG&E, and other utilities, to reduce the possibility of electrical equipment causing fires.PG&E coordinates with the National Weather Service, their own weather stations and field crews on the ground to confirm the need for a PSPS.   

Criteria for a PSPS includes:

  • Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service
  • Temperatures over 80° 
  • Relative humidity levels below 20%
  • Winds in excess of 25 mph and gusts over 45 mph

Historically, these weather conditions occur in Los Altos Hills 1-2 times per year.

PG&E will send an email to all registered customers 48 hours before a planned shutoff and again 24 hours before shutoff. Click here to register for alerts.

A shutoff involves turning off transmission lines to high fire danger areas and possibly the surrounding community. To see if your home will be impacted by an announced Public Safety Power Shutoff, click here and type in your address.

When the weather changes to less hazardous conditions, PG&E will restore power. Before power can be restored, PG&E crews must inspect all of the impacted lines to make sure there is no system damage.  PG&E anticipates restoring power 12 hours after the end of the weather event. The weather event could last several days.

When the Town is notified of a PSPS, they will:

  • Send out a Nixle or AlertSCC message. Sign up for both
  • Post information to Social Media (Twitter, Facebook and Nextdoor.com)
  • Prepare to open a facility, or refer you to a facility, that has power so you can charge devices.

If you have medical support devices that need electricity (electric wheelchair, lift, CPAP machine, etc.) register for the Medical Baseline program. PG&E provides extra notifications to Medical Baseline participants and is working closely with the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers(CFILC) to provide additional support.

If you are at risk of being adversely affected by Public Safety Power Shutoffs, use this form to apply for resources through the CFILC (including battery chargers, hotels and transportation).

If you have concerns about trees on your property that are near PG&E lines, request a PG&E Consulting Arborist at 800-743-5000

Preparing for extended power outages is not new. We live in earthquake country. Any earthquake could cause an extended power outage. Public Safety Power Shutoffs is just one more reason to prepare a backup power plan TODAY.

Use the resources on this page to prepare your personal response plan

PG&E Updates for 2020: