Our Commitment to Wildfire Safety

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Stay Connected: Update Your Contact Information

Please update your most recent contact information by clicking on the “PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFFS” tab below.

We've created a Community Fire Safety Program working with representatives from 40 different groups, including water districts, schools, the County of San Diego, fire agencies, telecommunications companies, disability rights groups and residents. Together, we've ensured that proper communication measures are in place in the event of any emergency situation. 

Collaboration with Local Agencies

Collaboration with local agencies has taken place for many years and has helped increased resources, including

SDG&E grants help fire agencies get new state-of-the-art equipment, including upgraded maps and radios, self-contained breathing units, medical equipment, and mobile computers on fire engines.

Critical technology has been developed and the data is shared with other agencies.

Investments to the electric system so it’s more resilient against severe weather and wildfires.

SDG&E Aircrane

The Erickson Aircrane is a vital tool to fight wildfires in San Diego.  Last year was the eighth-year the company has contracted to use the Aircrane.

The Aircrane is an impressive machine, holding a maximum of 2,650 gallons of water or fire suppressant – the equivalent of five fire engines. It can be airborne within 15 minutes, and takes only 45 seconds to refill its tank. Over the last eight-plus years it has made more than 820 water drops. That’s over half a million gallons of water dropped to protect our homes, businesses and communities.

Bringing back the Aircrane for another fire season is just one of the many enhancements we, and our partners, have made over the years to improve wildfire readiness. Working collaboratively with the County, local jurisdictions and the state is key to ensuring our communities are as safe as possible.

Caroline Winn, chief operating officer for SDG&E

Safe and Reliable Operations

We take our responsibility to operate the electric grid very seriously. If conditions threaten the integrity of our system, we will turn off power to protect public safety. Some of the factors that are taken into consideration include the circumstances of the emergency, wind speed measurements, temperature, humidity, field observations by SDG&E crews and information from fire agencies.

 While some homes may be located where there is not high winds, other parts of the line or circuit serving homes may be located in an area experiencing gusty wind conditions that require a power shutoff as a safety measure.  

Before power is restored, field crews patrol lines and deem them safe to re-energize. When patrolling, crews look for safety hazards like downed power lines, debris, tree branches caught on lines, or broken hardware. If damage is found, repairs must be made first.

 

Additional Wildfire Safety Resources

Alert SDG&E Cameras

In collaboration with UCSD and the University of Nevada, Reno, these high-definition cameras improve fire detection through a live-streaming view of San Diego’s most fire-prone areas.

Meteorologists

Our team of four full-time meteorologists help us make informed operational decisions. They’re constantly analyzing weather data and providing microclimate forecasts to our electric system operators.

Vegetation Management

Our fire protection efforts extend to a comprehensive vegetation management program. Arborists, tree trimmers and pole brush experts maintain clearances around 460,000 trees and brush is cleared around 30,000 poles.

Our comprehensive fire-risk mitigation program helps protect our customers, communities and stakeholders. And we stay committed to continuing our collaborative and proactive approach into the future.

Turning Off the Power for Public Safety

All Californians need to take important steps to get ready before the 2019 wildfire season, such as creating an emergency kit and thorough emergency plan. Learn more about what California’s largest energy companies are doing to address the threat of wildfire and Public Safety Power Shutoffs at prepareforpowerdown.com.

Changing weather conditions are putting our region at risk for wildfires. We’ve made significant investments to protect our communities, but there are times during extreme weather when we may turn off power for public safety.

If there’s a fire, sometimes fire officials or other agencies also ask us to cut power to keep the community and/or their crews safe. Whatever the circumstances, we’ll make every effort to communicate with you in advance. And please know that turning off power in the interest of safety isn’t a decision we take lightly. It’s a last resort during extreme situations.

Actualizar su información de contacto

Stay informed by making sure your contact information is up-to-date:

  • Go to My Account
  • Click on "Manage My Account" and update your contact information, including email address

You can also sign up for outage notifications in My Account:

  • Click on the "Alerts and Subscriptions" tab
  • Select "Outage Notifications" from the drop-down menu
  • From there, choose the way you want to stay informed (email, text and/or phone)

Public Safety Power Shutoff Video

Timeline for a Public Safety Power Shutoff

Public Safety Power Shutoff Fact Sheet

Read more about Public Safety Power Shutoffs and the steps we take to restore power afterwards.

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Public Safety Power Shutoff Fact Sheet
Public Safety Power Shutoff Fact Sheet

Public Safety Power Shutoff FAQs

We take our responsibility to operate the electric grid very seriously. If conditions threaten the integrity of our system, we will turn off power to protect public safety. Some of the factors that are taken into consideration include but are not limited to the circumstances of the emergency, wind speed measurements, vegetation moisture, temperature, humidity, field observations by SDG&E crews and information from fire agencies.

We've developed a way to reduce the number of customers impacted when conditions may lead to a power shutoff in high-fire threat areas. Additional weather stations and electrical devices improve our ability to divide an electric circuit into smaller sections. We can be more precise when shutting off power so the number of customers impacted by a power shutoff is smaller.

Power will remain out as long as the threat to our system and public safety continues—that is, as long as winds are creating a safety issue near and around our electric infrastructure. When the winds are reduced for a sustained time, our crews will then patrol the lines to check for system damage from wind-blown debris or any other problems before the power is turned on. Before we can restore power, crews must patrol lines to assess whether there is any damage. It is difficult to predict how long a patrol might take, given the varied length of each power line, the terrain and whether aerial patrols are required. Some circuits are in rural, mountainous areas that require a helicopter to patrol. In those cases, wind speeds need to be below 35 mph for the helicopter to fly safely.

It’s important to remember that improved weather conditions are not the only factor that determines whether a line is safe to re-energize. Restoring power to customers can be a long process. First, we need to record reduced wind speeds for a sustained period, then allow 4–8 hours of daylight for SDG&E field crews to patrol the line. When patrolling, crews are looking for safety hazards like downed lines, debris or tree branches caught on the line, broken hardware or issues related to communication wires. If there is any damage to the power lines or poles, repairs must be made first before power can be restored.

In the case of fire or other extreme weather, this process can take days. You may see our trucks in your neighborhood as you continue to experience an outage. The information they gather helps us plan our work.

During a power shutoff, addressing hazardous situations like downed lines is priority. Then, we work on restoring as many customers as we can, as soon as we can. We also prioritize repairs to restore service for critical needs such as hospitals, water pumping stations, and police and fire departments.

As we work to restore power to everyone, you may see lights on in your vicinity, while your location remains in the dark. Different parts of a neighborhood may be on different circuits, and not all circuits are restored at the same time.

SDG&E recommends investing in a landline to ensure a stable communication channel, as well as for SDG&E and first responders to reach you in an emergency. Additional solutions include purchasing a small radio with a crank or solar power to stay informed with the latest news. Many retail outlets offer low cost battery supply packs that should be kept charged and can provide backup charging power to your cell phone and other small electronics. Mobile devices can also be charged in a vehicle with a low-cost adapter. It is always advised to know where your local law enforcement and fire stations are located; they should have the latest information.

Yes. SDG&E has the authority to turn off the power in emergency situations when necessary to protect public safety. Please visit http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M218/K186/218186823.PDF to read the CPUC resolution establishing requirements for power shutoff, and http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/WORD_PDF/FINAL_DECISION/165063.PDF to read the CPUC decision confirming SDG&E’s statutory authority to do so.

It’s important to remember that power lines from a well-maintained and well-designed power grid can still ignite a catastrophic wildfire. Over the past several years, SDG&E has made significant improvements to its electric grid when it comes to wildfire preparedness, but when dangerous fire conditions are present, it is hard to prevent a tarp or a palm frond, as examples, from whipping through 80 mph wind gusts directly into power lines, creating an ignition. These illustrate the type of conditions that SDG&E must plan and prepare for to protect the safety of our customers. With no power flowing through power lines during windy conditions, an ignition source is eliminated, protecting our communities from the potential of another catastrophic wildfire.

Community Resource Centers may open

If we anticipate the power to be off for an extended period, we may open Community Resource Centers in affected areas. These facilities are places residents can go to get water and snacks, charge their phones, and get up-to-date information on outages. When open these centers could be open for up to 10 hours at a time during daylight hours, or as needed depending on the length of the Public Safety Power Shutoff event. 

Más información

Community Resource Centers for areas affected by Power Shutoffs

If we anticipate the power to be off for an extended period, we may open Community Resource Centers in affected areas. These facilities are places residents can go to get water and snacks, charge their phones, and get up-to-date information on outages.  If we open any of the Community Resource Centers, we’ll notify customers in affected areas about these resources and corresponding hours of operation.

We normally alert customers in affected areas by phone. Customers who sign up for outage notifications will also be contacted by their choice of phone, email and/or text. Our website, social media platforms, and news media outlets will also be used to broadcast information about areas affected by Power Shutoffs and resources available.

Below is a list of the Community Resource Centers that may be opened during extended power shutoff:

Community Resource Center

Area Served

Facility Name

Dirección

Descanso Community Resource Center

Descanso

Camp Oliver Lodge

8761 Riverside Drive A, Descanso 91916

Lake Morena Community Resource Center

Lake Morena

Lake Morena Community Church

29765 Oak Drive, Campo 91906

Mt. Empire Community Resource Center

Mt. Empire

Mtn. Empire Unified District Office/Schools

3305 Buckman Springs Road, Campo 91906

Julian Community Resource Center

Julian

Whispering Winds Catholic Camp

17606 Harrison Park Road, Julian 92036

Jacumba Community Resource Center

Jacumba

Jacumba Highland Community Church

44645 Old Hwy 80, Jacumba 91934

Dulzura Community Resource Center

Dulzura

Dulzura Community Center

1136 Community Building Road, Dulzura 91917

Warner Springs Community Resource Center

Warner Springs

Warner Springs Resource Center

30950 Highway 79 Warner Springs, CA 92086

Campo Community Resource Center

Campo

Golden Acorn Casino & Travel Center

1800 Golden Acorn Way, Campo, CA 91906

Potrero Resource Center

Potrero

Potrero Resource Center

24550 Hwy 94, Potrero 91963

 

Community Resource Center map

Stay informed by making sure your contact information is up-to-date:

  • Go to My Account
  • Click on "Manage My Account" and update your contact information, including email address

You can also sign up for outage notifications in My Account:

  • Click on the "Alerts and Subscriptions" tab
  • Select "Outage Notifications" from the drop-down menu
  • From there, choose the way you want to stay informed (email, text and/or phone)

Preparing for an Emergency Before one Happens

Preparing for an emergency begins long before one happens. Take steps to prepare now.

 
 

Develop a Plan

Emergencies can come in many forms such as wildfires, storms, earthquakes or school or work emergencies.  Being prepared for emergencies means having a written plan as well as supplies. With a written plan you have systematic and repeatable approach to emergencies.

Your plan should be tailored to meet your specific situation, such as preparing for elderly and disabled family members as well as pets. Review and update it annually.

Consider these things when making a plan:

  • Create an emergency plan for your family, identifying two places for the family to meet.
    1. A place outside your home
    2. A spot away from your neighborhood in case you can't return home
  • Practice the plan with your family, including your children
  • Review the emergency plans at your workplace, your children's school or daycare center and other places where members of your family regularly spend time away from home
  • Plan safe routes away from your home and business to high, safe ground. Make sure your children are aware of the routes away from home.
  • Develop a plan for family pets and livestock
  • Evacuation shelters may not allow animals
  • Designate a friend outside the area who family members can call if separated
  • Keep current important documents in a safe-deposit box

Prepare a Kit of Emergency Supplies

During an emergency, you'll need supplies. Here are some of the basics you should have on hand.

  • Three-day supply of bottled water (one gallon per person per day)
  • A three-day supply of packaged, dried, and canned food
  • First aid kit and essential medicines
  • Pet food and pet carrier
  • Manual can opener
  • Portable radio and flashlights with spare batteries in waterproof bags
  • An extra set of car keys
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members

Comprehensive Checklists

Read SDG&E's comprehensive checklists for your home, at work and in your car.

Emergency checklists

Protect property and be prepared – create a defensible space

In a wildfire, firefighters are stretched to the limit. By designing or modifying the space around your home to resist wildfire, you have a better chance of saving your property—whether firefighters can get to it in time or not.

There are three zones around your house to consider:

  1. ZONE 1: From the structure out to a minimum of 30-50 ft.
    The area nearest your home should contain low-growing plants with low-fuel volume.
  2. ZONE 2: A minimum of 30-100 ft. from structure
    Low-growing ground covers that are resistant to fire and low in fuel volume are recommended in this zone.
  3. ZONE 3: Beyond 100 ft. from structure
    Check with environmental regulatory agencies before modifying native vegetation that might include endangered species and habitat.
 
 

Choosing the Right Generator

Using a small standby generator for electricity during an outage can keep your home and business running smoothly. In a power failure, plug your generator into the panel with a special power cord and then switch the circuits from utility to power to your generator.

 

Generator Basics

  1. Types. The two main types of residential generators are portable and permanent standby.
  2. Sizes. Standby generator sizes range from an output of 1 kw to over 100 kw. If you plan to run a few lights and minimal appliances, you can use a smaller model, but if you intend to run all your lights and several major appliances, you will need a permanent standby model.
  3. Fuel. Engines usually run on gas or diesel, but models are also available for propane or natural gas.

How to Choose a Generator

  • Get power for the basics: smaller, portable models will power basic necessities and cost $1,000 or less.

  • Match the size of your generator to your electrical needs. Operate it at no more than 75% of its capacity.

  • To calculate your generator size, total the wattage of the appliances and other items you want to simultaneously power and then double that number. Most homeowners will need a 5-kilowatt portable generator to power a heating system and a few other appliances.

  • Consider a manual transfer switch, which costs around $500 and should be installed by a licensed electrician.

Safety Tips

  1. Store your generator outside in a dry location to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  2. Never plug a generator into any electric outlet in your home or business. It can be deadly.
  3. Follow all instructions on properly “grounding” the generator.
  4. Turn off the generator for at least five minutes before fueling to avoid fires.
  5. Keep extension cords out of the way so they don’t present a tripping hazard.

 Read more tips for choosing a generator.

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Using a Generator
Using a Generator