Millions of Americans Left in the Dark

Power outages across California leave millions without electricity and no place to go. Here’s what you need to know: While

Power outages across California leave millions without electricity and no place to go. Here's what you need to know:

Girl Sunbathing on her balcony

While California utilities released statements saying the state grid had enough energy to avoid rolling blackouts Sunday night, PG&E’s senior vice president urged energy customers to conserve their energy as heat waves hit California, causing temperatures to soar to record breaking highs over the weekend leading to a series of unexpected rolling blackouts that left millions of people with our power and a Stage 3 Electrical Emergency

What is a stage 3 electrical emergency?

California heat wave 2020

A Stage 3 Electrical Emergency is declared when demand outpaces available supply and rotating power interruptions have to be initiated to maintain stability of the electric grid. 

According to the California ISO, on Saturday the abrupt loss of a 470 megawatt power plant and a 1,000 megawatt wind power generation plant necessitated the emergency order.  

Why is California having rolling blackouts?

In a nutshell, the heat wave caused a surge in power demand for cooling. But there’s a little more to it. Because a lot of California’s power comes from solar and wind energy generation, and people usually use more electricity and lights at night when the sun goes down, the electric grid became strained and faced risks of a complete shut down due to the lack of solar generation and the wind calming down at night. The solution was systematic and rotating shutdowns of power to try and manage the overwhelming demand as they worked to restore power. 

Will I be notified before my power is turned off?

According to the PSPS (Public Safety Power Shutoff program) all energy consumers should expect early warning or notifications from their utility prior to their power being shutdown. California power companies will also be providing ongoing updates. 

How to prepare for a power outage

Every home and business should have a power outage safety plan, which includes an emergency supply kit. As most power outages don’t last more than a few hours, the kit should include enough supplies to last you for the duration of an outage. Here is a list of items you should insure your emergency kit has:

  • FOOD

Where can I go to seek refuge during a power outage?

Power outages hit California amid a Covid 19 pandemic, making all the usual places that provide relief are closed. California authorities recommend contact local authorities to find cooling centers or places of refuge but that most people should stay at home or if it gets too hot to go outside in a shady place, keeping covid 19 guidelines in mind. 

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