What to do during a power shutoff
Once the power is off, keep in mind that emergency responders may be dealing with their own backup power needs and any emergency medical situations that come up. Do not call 911 unless it's an emergency. Additionally, infrastructure, such as traffic lights, may be impacted — so proceed with caution. San Jose has asked residents to avoid driving if the power is shut off and to stop at dark signals.
- Unplug or turn off any appliances and equipment to prevent damage from surges when the power is restored. (PG&E recommends keeping one lamp turned on to alert you when the power is back, and to then turn each appliance back on one by one.)
- A refrigerator can keep food cold for about four hours and a freezer for about 48 hours — if they're kept closed. Plan to rely on coolers with ice.
- Use generators, camp stoves and grills outdoors only.
As always, you should also consider checking on neighbors, especially those who may need assistance.
Power will be restored after the dangerous conditions have passed and once safety checks have been done for all the lines in that area. If there are a large number of people who have had their power shut off, then it may take multiple days before PG&E gets the power turned back on for everyone.
If you experience a loss due to extended power outages — such as the food in your fridge going bad — you can file a claim with the utility.