High winds and dangerously dry conditions later this week could cause Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) officials to cut power to more than 600,000 homes in 29 counties across Northern and Central California. While it is currently unknown whether the shutoff will be necessary or how many people it will impact, officials have said that it could take days to restore power if it indeed needs to be cut.
This will have an impact on schools in affected areas. Oakland Unified School District posted on its Facebook page that as many as 10 schools could see their electricity cut starting Wednesday, though the district declined to identify the schools, instead saying auto-calls would go out in the event there are closures due to the blackout.
The potential Public Safety Power Shutoff area includes parts of the following counties: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Mariposa, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba. Outage area maps are available here.
California Department of Education (CDE) has resources and information available regarding Public Safety Power Shutoffs, fire safety and preparedness, and even best practices for saving your perishables in the event your power is cut. There is also a power shutoff FAQ regarding CDE policies on instructional time requirements, funding for generators and waivers for attendance losses. Residents in the impacted areas are encouraged to prepare for an outage, remain flexible and keep up with news online as conditions change.