California Wildfires and Power Outages Go Together

Mia Maalouf, Staff Writer

When Pacific Gas and Electric Co, the main electric company in northern California, announced that forecasts of extreme wind would force the utility company the implement that largest power outage in California, the reaction was mixed depending on where you lived–inside or outside of the blackout zone.

Last year, 85 civilians were killed in a fire caused by high winds and the toppling of electric lines. To prevent the same disaster, PG&E decided to cut power during the days these weather predictions persist. Customers were outraged saying these problems could have been avoided if the company upgraded their power lines years ago. Modernization such as replacing wooden poles with metal would make them much sturdier and less likely to fall during extreme weather conditions or ignite themselves. Millions of San Francisco Bay Area Residents were recently deprived of electrical power in hopes of preventing wildfires.

How does this affect Mayfield girls? Southern California Edison warned it could shut off power to more than 304,000 customers in the expectation of Santa Ana winds. Mayfield Senior isn’t listed in the report of affected areas meaning the school will not close unless circumstances change. However, the power outages can still affect you or your home in the future, so it’s important to research whether or not you are in the range of areas. Outages lasting the better part of a week have occurred in Northern California. 

What can you do if your power goes out? It is crucial to be prepared for these situations as you never know what will happen and for how long. Have back-up batteries, a battery-powered radio, and keep a fully charged cell phone on hand. Unplug electronics such as computers, stereos, televisions and air conditioners to prevent damage. After the electricity is restored, you can plug them in again. Help your family to be prepared to meet the needs of your household.