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How do you prepare for PG&E Power Safety Shutoffs | You tell us

In the event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff, find out what you need to do to stay prepared before the lights go out.

CALIFORNIA, USA — Power shutoffs are becoming more common as PG&E considers turning the power off to customers in an attempt to prevent wildfires ignited by electrical equipment. 

In early October, PG&E turned off power for a staggering 800,000 customers in 34 different counties. In June, 1,600 customers in portions of Napa, Solano and Yolo counties west of Sacramento lost power. 

With many people facing still more potential outages as PG&E works to update its electrical grid, we wanted to ask our ABC10 Facebook followers, "how do you prepare for power shut-offs?" Here is what they recommended.

Credit: Getty Images

1. Lots of ice and tapping your freezer shut

ABC10 Viewer Vickie Furman gives lots of great advice here, but we wanted to focus on the ice. One of the common issues people have with the power safety shutoffs is that they will lose groceries. Vickie says she avoids that by taping her freezer shut so no one can open it and by putting ice in a cooler.

2. New batteries for old flashlights

ABC10 Viewer Kathy LeLievre says her first step in a power outage is making sure all her flashlights have fresh batteries. It never hurts to keep an extra pack around in case of emergencies or if the power is out for longer than originally thought. 

3. Don't want to deal with flashlights or candles? Install battery-powered lights.

Not everyone is a fan of flashlights, and the idea of candles during fire season can lead to anxiety, so why not try installing battery-powered lights? That is what ABC10 Viewer Kathy Dukes did in her home last year. Battery-powered lights can be found on Amazon for as little as $11.99.

4. Dust off those books and board games

While the necessities are always top priority, entertainment during a power outage is often neglected. With no access to television or the internet, those in a blackout will have to cancel the usual evening's activities of deciding something to watch on Netflix or playing Fortnite. Phone batteries need to be saved, so scrolling through social media feeds is out the window. Instead, ABC10 Viewer Danisha Duke-Ide suggests picking out a good book or dusting off those old board games in the closet. 

Do you have a suggestion that we missed? Join the conversation on the ABC10 Facebook page.


GO IN-DEPTH: Brandon Rittiman breaks California’s wildfire crisis into its core elements: fire, power and money. In these episodes, we explain why wildfires are deadlier than ever, expose how PG&E influences state politics — despite its felony convictions — and share what it will cost to pay for the damage and keep Californians safe from future fires.


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