Nearly 800,000 PG&E customers will lose power starting just after midnight Wednesday, but the coastal regions of San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties are not expected to have their power shutoff, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey. 

PG&E has notified Cal Poly that they do not expect a public safety power shutoff (PSPS) to impact the campus at this time.

“The university is closely monitoring the potential for PSPS power outages around California and is in regular touch with our local and state partners to make sure our information is current,” University Spokesperson Matt Lazier said. 

Cal Poly is closely monitoring the PSPS situation around California. At this time, PG&E has informed us they do not expect an outage that would impact campus. We will update the campus as we learn more.

— Cal Poly DEM (@CalPolyDEM) October 8, 2019

PSPS events are intended to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires during dry and windy weather, according to a PG&E news release. PG&E plans to give anyone affected by a potential power shutoff 24 to 48 hours notice.  

“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, which is why PG&E has decided to turn power off to customers during this widespread, severe wind event,” PG&E Senior Vice President of Electric Operations Michael Lewis said in a news release.  

Video by Lauren Walike

Cal Poly’s Department of Emergency management worked throughout the summer to update their plans for a PSPS event in San Luis Obispo. Classes would likely be canceled in the event there is no power on campus, according to Director of Emergency Management Anthony Knight. Campus Dining has three days of food for on-campus residents and students would continue to be able to occupy campus housing. A resource center running on backup power would be setup for students.

Knight encourages students living off campus to keep at least one gallon of water per day for at least three days. In addition, students are encouraged to keep three days of unrefrigerated food on hand.

Students will be notified through PolyAlert texts and emails if a PSPS event is likely to occur, University Spokesperson Matt Lazier said. The campus will also use alternative communication methods, like resident advisors, to get the word out about a power shutoff.

Additional information about emergency supplied can be found on the Department of Emergency Management’s website.

Elevated fire threat

CAL FIRE officials announced in a news release Tuesday that firefighters are staffing up and preparing for potential extreme fire conditions across the state of California.

“With some of the most destructive and deadliest fires occurring October through December, we need Californians to not be complacent,” CAL FIRE Chief Thom Porter said in a statement. “Wind driven fires move fast, and residents need to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice in the event of a wildfire.”

CAL FIRE is not involved in the decision making of when and where the power is turned off due to extreme weather.

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