• October 9, 2019 5:21 PM

When The Power is Out Tips

When The Power is Out Tips

When The Power is Out Tips 120 120 Sonoma County Emergency and Preparedness Information

When the Power is Out Tips

What you need to know and do when the power is out. Prepare by following these actions and tips:

Safe Driving & Pedestrian Tips

  • Traffic signals and streetlights may be impacted by the power outage. Follow these safety tips:
    • Stay home unless you absolutely need to leave
    • Approach dark intersections as a four-way stop
    • Use turn signals & enter intersections only when it is safe to do so
    • Be aware of officials helping with traffic control
    • Drive with extra caution. Never text and drive
  • Pull to the right when emergency vehicles (fire, police, ambulance) with sirens and lights are on the road.
  • Pedestrians should take extra care when walking near vehicles or crossing a crosswalk, especially after dark.
  • Always cross in a crosswalk; be sure to make eye contact with the driver before crossing the street.
  • Look both ways before crossing a street.
  • Be visible; wear light colored clothing. After dark wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
  • Look and listen; put the phone and earbuds away!

Food Safety

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer. Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures of 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.
  • Visit Keep Food and Water Safe After a Disaster or Emergency for more information.
  • Maintain food supplies that do not require refrigeration.

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  • Some prescription medications require refrigeration, including many liquid drugs.
  • When the power is out for a day or more, throw away any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the prescription label says otherwise.
  • If your life depends on refrigerated medication, but the medications have been at room temperature, use them only until a new supply is available, then discard and use the new supply.
  • Replace all refrigerated drugs as soon as possible.

Generators, Camp Stoves, Grills

  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and house fires —generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stove top or oven to heat your home. Go to a community location with power if heat or cold weather temperature conditions are extreme.

Home Generator Guidelines

  • Before starting your generator, carefully read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Before refueling, turn off a gas-powered generator and let it cool. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts can ignite.
  • Avoid electrical hazards. It’s best to plug in appliances directly to the generator.

Evacuation Orders

  • During a prolonged power outage, Sonoma County Public Safety officials’ ability to reach you using traditional alert and warning tools may be limited. Public safety vehicles are outfitted with Hi/Lo sirens, which offer a different sound than traditional sirens, and will be used to alert residents to evacuate. This European-style, 2-tone siren will only be used in an emergency to alert residents within specific areas of the need to evacuate. If you hear the Hi/Lo, it’s time to go.

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Electronics & Appliances

  • Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, and electronics. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can cause damage.

Water Supply

  • Please conserve water during a power outage to help reduce the demand on backup power generators that help move water around for essential needs, such as drinking water and water for firefighting.
  • Residents with private wells and sewer pumps will need to provide back-up power to supply their systems during an extended outage. More information is available here: srcity.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=697

Stay Connected & Informed

  • PG&E has opened two Community Resource Centers offering restrooms, bottled water, electronic-device charging and air-conditioned seating for up to 100 people. These centers are open 8am-8pm through the duration of the power outage at the following locations:
    • Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave, Santa Rosa
    • Hanna Boys Center, 17000 Arnold Drive (opening Thursday, October 10, 2019)
  • Community charging stations where residents may charge electronic devices are available at the following locations and times:
    • Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall, 126 1st Street West, Sonoma from 8am-6pm
    • Burton Recreation Center, 7421 Burton Avenue, Rohnert Park from 8am-6pm
  • Check on your neighbors. Older adults and young children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
  • Monitor news and weather reports if possible.
  • For questions about the power shut off, contact Sonoma County 2-1-1. Do not call 911 unless it’s an emergency. Current information is also available at:
  • Make sure PG&E has your current contact information. Update your contact information with PG&E information by phone at 1-866-743-6589 and 1-866-743-6589 for assistance in Spanish.

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