PG&E might never deliberately cut power to Manteca and much of the rest of San Joaquin County under its plan to respond to extreme wildfire conditions.
But that said PG&E representative Dylan George said the possibility exists that it may have to do so or it could be in smaller increments.
George wasn’t trying to dodge the overflow crowd of roughly 200 Del Webb at Woodbridge residents attending Monday’s gathering at the community clubhouse to inform people and answer questions about PG&E’s wildfire safety plan. It’s just that it all depends on finicky weather conditions and whether specific areas under eminent threat of wildfires are served by transmission lines that also serve Manteca.
He noted that nearby areas that are in the highest risk locations due to traditional weather patterns and heavy fuel — vegetation growth and density of trees — include Twain Harte, MiWuk Village, Arnold, Pioneer, and Pine Grove among others.
That said, San Joaquin Supervisor Tom Patti noted it is common sense that people prepare for emergencies whether it is a prolonged power outrages lasting 2 to 5 days, a major earthquake or some other disaster.
“Having no electricity for 2 to 5 days is an unprecedented emergency (scenario) for all of California,” Manteca Fire Captain Dave Marques, who is in charge of the City of Manteca emergency planning, told the gathering.
While the city is concentrating on public safety as well as public health, personnel from the Manteca Fire Department to the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency as well as PG&E representatives made it clear people need to prepare.
The checklist includes but isn’t limited to having:
Adequate food and water as well as cash given ATMs won’t be working.
Making sure PG&E has current contact information so you can be notified hopefully as many as 48 hours in advance of a possible decision to cut-off power.
Making an effort to use water only for essential needs during a prolonged outage.
Having items set aside for emergencies such as needed medicines, extra flashlight batteries and such as delineated on the PG&E website on how to prepare for power loss emergencies whether they are caused by a storm, a deliberate decision by PG&E or other reasons.
“The biggest thing we need to tell you is you need to fend for yourself,” Marques said,
In response to a resident’s question, it was noted there was not a need to unplug major appliances and such as concerns about a surge creating issues is not a worry when the power comes back on. That said smaller items such as curling irons and such that can create a problem if they are on when power is restored should be unplugged in case they were on when the power went out.
PG&E will provide alerts hopefully 48 hours in advance as well as 24 hours in advance and just before power is cutoff under its wildfire safety plan as well as when it is restored in case you have opted to stay elsewhere during the duration.
Those needing medical devices that are dependent on electricity and are already enrolled in a specific PG&E program for that purpose will receive phone calls from actual employees of PG&E. If they do not receive an answer, PG&E personnel will be dispatched to a home where such an individual resides.
Marques noted arrangements have already been made with Manteca Unified to press school buses into service if people need to be transported to the city’s emergency shelter for those dependent on medical devices powered by electricity to stay alive. The city shelter is the Manteca Senior Center.
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