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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

PREPARE FOR POWER SHUTOFFS, FIRE DANGER IN THE HILLS

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, October 09, 2019) - UPDATE: Wednesday, October 10, 9:30am

Extra City staff, police, and firefighters worked through the night to help those affected by PG&E's electricity shutoff both in Berkeley and as mutual aid for fires in the East Bay. Efforts continue to reach out and respond to anyone who needs help.


Take action so we can all safely respond to PG&E’s planned power shutoff starting at 8pm Wednesday as well as conditions for high fire danger in the hills.  

  1. Sign up for alerts

    Know how to get information in multiple ways. Sign up for alerts from PG&E and AC Alert. Bear in mind PG&E’s site has been offline at times. You can also sign up for PG&E’s zip-code specific alerts by texting “ENROLL” to 97633. In a power outage, all City libraries will also be posting updates. Listen to 1610 AM, which will have messages rebroadcast on the hour on KPFA 94.1 FM and KPFB 89.3 FM.  

  2. Prepare to evacuate

    Use our wildfire evacuation tips to prepare to leave quickly.  If you believe you may have trouble evacuating in an emergency and you are in a high fire danger area likely to have no power, you should make plans to leave as soon as possible.

  3. Keep hills roadways accessible

    To help officers and firefighters respond in the hills, take particular attention to avoid parking at red curbs, in no parking areas and within 15 feet of fire hydrants and the entrances to fire stations. Extra police and parking enforcement officers will be patrolling Berkeley hills to enforce and ensure safe and accessible roadways.

Evacuate now if you have power-dependent medical needs

If you are power-dependent for medical reasons and you live in a potentially affected area, please use your own resources to relocate to an unaffected area. If you are unable to relocate and the loss of power will cause an immediate life threat, call 9-1-1 for transport to an Emergency Room. For further information about community resources, call 3-1-1 or (510) 981-2489. 

Stay safe when power is out

The City of Berkeley has mobilized staff across multiple departments to help respond to the planned outage and high fire danger conditions.

Those who choose to stay in the hills should make plans for food and water for up to six days without electricity.

When electricity is out, neighbors should check on neighbors. There are several important fire safety measures when electricity is off:   

  • Don’t burn anything including candles.
  • If you have a generator, know how to use it safely.
  • Don’t idle your car in the hills.
  • Don’t use any heat producing tools or machines such as lawn mowers.

Even if your power isn’t shut off at first, electricity may be turned off later on Wednesday. PG&E has informed Alameda County agencies that they will turn off electricity in phases, are monitoring weather conditions and will provide rolling updates as the situation develops. PG&E sets the times and duration of planned outages.   

Potential shutoff areas announced by PG&E

 

This map shows the potential shutoff areas announced by PG&E as of 9am Wednesday morning.

Be aware of danger and ready to evacuate

If you see/experience any of the following, consider evacuating on your own and calling 9-1-1:

  • Visible fire in an adjacent home, and/or
  • Visible fire in a home close by with strong winds, and/or
  • Strong winds carrying smoke and/or embers through or over your neighborhood.
  • If you feel threatened, leave immediately. Do not wait for an evacuation order.

Again, Berkeley residents may also contact the 311 Customer Service line at 510-981-2489 to report any dangerous conditions.  

After the dry windy weather has passed and it is safe to do so, PG&E crews will inspect and restore full power. This may take up to five additional days. Affected areas may be without power or access to wireless service during this time.

Charging and wi-fi access during outages

If your devices are not working, you will be able to get information at Berkeley Public Library branches.  The Library will also provide 24-hour Wi-Fi access during this outage.  

The Central Library is open 10am-6pm on Thursday. Branch libraries are open from noon to 8pm.

Please help us to keep Berkeley safe during this time. 

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