Get ready for fire season and potential safety-related outages
Hotter, dryer and more extreme weather has increased the likelihood of wildfires in Oregon and unfortunately, the likelihood of a safety-related power outage. Is your business prepared?
Create an outage kit specifically for summer and make sure everyone in your business knows where to find it. Below are a few basic items and you’ll find a more robust checklist for a PSPS here.
Flashlights or camp lights for all areas, including bathrooms
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
Battery-powered or manual clock/watch and fans
Car chargers for cell phones and electronic devices
Bottled water for people and animals (if your water relies on an electric pump)
Emergency phone numbers, including PGE Customer Service: 503-228-6322 or the number of your account representative
Having a plan in case of a power outage at your business can help minimize disruption. Communicate your outage response plan with key employees, and make sure everyone knows where to find your outage kit. Also:
Plan a manual alternative for work done on computers and cash registers
Ensure electronic door locks can be bypassed manually
If you have an emergency lighting system, make sure it’s in good working order
Train your employees to know what to do if they’re working when the power goes out, including shutting down sensitive equipment (see below)
Be sure to have your maintenance team – or your team members familiar with your electrical systems – ready to come in once power is safely restored. This will ensure that after we turn power back on, they can do any necessary work on your systems so you can be back up, running and serving your customers.
Power outages can affect equipment and data. Here’s how to protect them both:
Know how you will keep critical equipment running during an outage
Locate and turn off power switches on non-critical equipment, or locate your electrical supply panels and know how to shut off power
Protect computers and other equipment from power surges with good quality surge protection
Prevent data loss with automatic backup programs and battery backup systems
The safety of our customers and community is always our first priority. If extreme weather conditions threaten our ability to safely operate the electrical grid, we will turn off power in certain high-risk areas to help protect public safety. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff, or PSPS.
A Public Safety Power Shutoff is a last-resort safety measure. We consider wind speed, temperature, humidity, the dryness of trees and brush, field observations by our crews, as well as information from local fire departments when we’re deciding whether a PSPS is needed.
If we do need to call a PSPS, we work to minimize the number of customers affected and the amount of time they are without power. And, we’ll keep you informed about what is happening and what to expect from us by communicating across a wide range of channels.
While you’re preparing your business for summer outages, be sure you and your employees prepare at home too .