PGE, Pacific Power, Idaho Power provide actionable tips and guidance as fire season approaches
Portland, Ore. — To recognize National Wildfire Awareness Month, Portland General Electric, Pacific Power and Idaho Power are encouraging Oregonians to prepare for wildfire season. Fire-weather conditions, such as severe drought combined with summer windstorms or active wildfires, could lead to safety-related power outages.
Portland General Electric, Pacific Power and Idaho Power continue to invest in and prepare their electric grids to deliver reliable power and operate safely in all seasons. Even as electric providers partner with federal, state, and local agencies and Tribes to plan and prepare for the upcoming wildfire season, preparedness is a shared responsibility. Resources are available to help every Oregonian take steps to plan ahead and be ready for wildfire-related power outages.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission recently approved utility wildfire mitigation plans for 2022. “These plans reflect hard work by utilities to understand wildfire risk and adapt their systems and operations to increase the safety and resiliency of electricity supply,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair. “Utility efforts are important, but all Oregonians have a role in preparing for and mitigating wildfires.” At wildfire.oregon.gov, Oregonians can find tips to stay informed, make a plan, and trim trees and plants to create defensible spaces to slow the spread of wildfire.
Stay in the know
Customers for all three electric providers can take steps to make sure that they receive wildfire-related information.
Log in to their account and make sure all contact information is current. That way, an electric provider can send alerts and messages.
In addition to having a back-up plan with medical providers, customers who rely on electricity to store medication or operate medical equipment at home should enroll in their electric provider’s Medical Certificate Program, if available, to receive proactive communications about outages.
Visit Oregon Alert at https://oralert.gov to find your local alert system. Provide current contact details and sign up for wildfire-related alerts.
Make an outage kit
Prepare a home outage kit in the event wildfire leads to a power outage. Be sure to include shelf-stable food, water for household members, pets and any livestock, necessary medications, flashlights, batteries and solar or car chargers for electric devices. Keep ice packs or frozen water in the freezer to help keep food cold until ice is available.
Businesses should prepare to minimize disruption, keep employees safe and protect equipment. Outage kits should include flashlights or camp lights for all areas, including restrooms, battery-powered or hand-crank radios for information, battery-powered fans, extra batteries, car chargers for cell phones and electric devices, bottled water and emergency phone numbers.
Have a plan
Consider options to relocate with a friend, family member or shelter, especially if a medical condition, medication or equipment requires electricity.
Businesses should communicate their outage responses plan to key employees, plan for workarounds to computers and cash registers, and make a plan to bypass electronic door locks.
Homes and businesses should consider buying backup generators. Information on how to operate them safely is available from each of the utilities in the information and resources below.
Make a plan for watering livestock if well pumps are without power.
Know how to open and close electric garage doors and security gates.
Learn how to protect home and business electronics and appliances against data loss and surge damage when power is restored.
Information, resources and checklists
PGE customers can visit portlandgeneral.com/wildfireoutages for information, checklists and additional resources. Information about how PGE works to protect people, property and natural environments, including its 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plan, is available at portlandgeneral.com/wildfiresafety.
Pacific Power customers can visit pacificpower.net/wildfiresafety for resources and information including an outage preparation checklist for residential and business customers, an interactive map outlining potential public safety power shutoff areas and its 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plan.
Idaho Power customers can visit idahopower.com/wildfire to learn more about summer outage preparedness and what Idaho Power is doing to protect the grid from wildfires.