Be ready for summer heat waves and wildfire conditions that can lead to power outages.
Summertime means prep time. For fun, for vacations, and unfortunately, for extreme summer weather. As Oregon’s climate changes, the hot and dry conditions increase the likelihood of power outages. But if we’re all prepared, an outage can be a little easier to get through.
Create an outage kit and make sure everyone in your home 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 headlamps
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and clock/watch
Battery-powered or hand-held fans
Car chargers for cell phones and electronic devices
Bottled water for people and animals (if you rely on electricity to pump water)
Frozen cold packs or water frozen in bags or plastic bottles (keep ready in your freezer)
Emergency phone numbers, including PGE Customer Service: 503-228-6322
Summer outages are different than winter outages. Plan for household needs and gather what you’ll need to stay cool, fed and hydrated. The outage kit checklist also has a planning checklist on the back, but you can start here for the basics:
Plan ahead to relocate with a friend, family member or to a shelter, especially if you have a medical condition that requires electricity or you work or learn from home
Always keep ice packs in your freezer to keep food cold until you can get ice
Plan for feeding and watering pets or livestock, if well pumps don't have power
Consider buying a backup generator and follow manufacturers' guidelines for its safe operation
Plan your wildfire evacuation route if needed (see your county's evacuation guide)
Create a line of defense around your home
We encourage customers with medical needs and facilities that care for vulnerable populations and depend on electricity for medical equipment to have a backup source of power and contingency plans in the event of an outage.
Plan for medical needs so you can still power medical equipment during an outage.
Enroll in our Medical Certificate program, this lets us know where there are critical needs so we can proactively communicate with you about outages.
Plan ahead to relocate with a friend, family member or to a shelter if needed.
Consider buying a backup generator and follow manufacturers' guidelines for its safe operation.
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.
For us, being prepared is a year-round effort to protect people, property and natural environments.
Our crews regularly inspect our poles and equipment and make necessary modifications or replacements to reduce the risk of a spark. For example, we’ve installed metal poles and fiberglass cross-arms that are fire-resistant.
Over that past few years, we’ve increased funding and resources for our program to inspect, trim and remove more trees and shrubs that could cause trouble with our transmission lines. This adds to our already robust line-clearing and tree trimming program that actively manages more than 2 million trees along 12,000 miles of overhead power lines.
We have ways to help small businesses prepare for outages, too.