MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - To minimize power outages during the incoming storm, Pacific Gas and Electric Company is activating its operations emergency center in Santa Cruz to allow for a faster response.
"Crews are on standby and gathering the materials and equipment they need to restore and repair infrastructure that’s expected to be impacted during this weather event," said PG&E spokesperson, Myra Tostado.
Crews will be staged in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Salinas. PG&E staff from outside the area will be on standby to respond to the Central Coast if needed.
So far there have been several outages across the Central Coast affecting thousands of PG&E customers. Around 1:11 p.m. more than 1,300 customers were without power near Freedom Blvd and Stanford Street in Watsonville.
PG&E urges customers to follow these safety tips:
- Always treat low hanging and downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others away from them. Be aware that trees, pools of water and other objects that may be in contact with power lines. If you see damaged power lines or electrical equipment, call 911 immediately and then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
- During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup.
- Have fresh drinking water, freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.
- Secure outdoor furniture, lightweight yard structures and decorative lawn items that can be blown by high winds to prevent them from damaging overhead power lines and property.
- Customers with generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to crews working on power lines.
- If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
- Other tips can be found at pge.com/beprepared.