Electric Outages

Preparing your home for an extended electric outage helps prepare you for any emergency including earthquakes. Following these simple tips will help you ensure you care of yourself and your household.

Before an Electric Outage

  • Keep a flashlight with extra, fresh batteries in a convenient place. Avoid using candles because of the risk of fire.
  • Stock up on non­perishable food that does not require cooking and make sure you have a manual can opener.
  • Store water-filled plastic containers in your freezer. You can use them as blocks of ice to prevent food from spoiling.
  • Keep your mobile phone charged as much as possible and consider getting back up batteries and/or  portable phone chargers. Also, keep important phone numbers written down and handy (e.g., doctor, family, friends, or anyone you may need to call, but do not have their phone numbers memorized).
  • Protect sensitive electronic equipment, such as televisions and computers, with surge suppressors. Unplug this equipment if it was in use when the power went out.
  • Have cash in small denominations on hand and a full tank of gas, in the event ATMs and gas stations are unavailable.
  • Make sure you can manually (without power) open your automatic garage door or gate, or park your vehicle outside.
  • Inform PG&E if you have a generator, and do not use it unless you are sure it was installed safely and correctly. An incorrectly installed generator can damage your property and endanger you and PG&E's line workers who may be working on nearby power lines. You can find information on the safe installation of generators at www.pge.com/generator.
  • Sign up for AlertSF by texting your zip code to 888-777 or by visiting www.alertsf.org. AlertSF will send you alerts and instructions during power outages and other emergencies.

During an Electric Outage

  • Check on your neighbors, friends and family who may need assistance during the outage.
  • Turn off major appliances such as air conditioners, washers, and dryers prior to the outage. This will prevent them from coming on unexpectedly when electricity is restored.
  • Turn off heat producing appliances (e.g., ovens, stove tops and irons) prior to the outage. This will eliminate a fire hazard when electricity comes back on.
  • Make sure food stays cold by keeping your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. You can keep the refrigerator cold by placing ice in plastic containers and keeping them inside. Also, a full freezer will remain colder longer.
  • Notify your alarm company if you have an alarm system as equipment can be affected by power outages.
  • If you are experiencing a medical, police, or fire emergency call 911.

After an Electric Outage

  • Reset clocks, thermostats and other programmed equipment after power is restored.

More information
Visit information about PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoff Program visit: