Prepare for Power Outage

Power outages happen - for a variety of reasons!

A power outage, either localized or widespread, can be caused by storms or floods, downed power lines or blown transformers, and other reasons. 

PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff

In mid-2019 PG&E implemented its Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Program. Under certain conditions (gusty winds, dry environments, combined with a heightened fire risk) the utility can decide to shut off electricity in specified high-voltage power lines in order to reduce the risk of those lines igniting nearby vegetation. The program is in response to the major northern California wildfires of the last several years, some of which were determined to have been caused by power lines igniting vegetation. Click here for Half Moon Bay information about potential power shutoffs (coming soon).

For more information about PG&E's PSPS program, please visit

Here are some basic tips for what to do In the event of a power outage

  • If you see a downed power line - stay away, and keep others away. Assume downed power lines are energized and dangerous. Call 9-1-1 immediately to report the location, then call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
  • Report outages in your home or neighborhood to PG&E 24 hours a day at 1-800-743-5002
  • Find out whether your neighbors are affected by the outage, or if it’s just your property (check your circuit breakers and fuse boxes).
  • Learn the status of your outage at PG&E online, or call 1-800-743-5002.
  • Unplug or turn off all appliances during an outage to help avoid overloading circuits when the power is restored.
  • Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns.

Take these steps in advance:

  • Sign up to receive emergency alerts through SMC Alert.
  • Keep a battery-operated flashlight and radio within easy reach. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
  • Do not use wax candles - if you want to use candles, use only the safer LED candles.
  • Keep a standard handset or mobile phone available - don’t depend on a phone that requires electricity to work.
  • Store water-filled plastic containers in your freezer to use as blocks of ice to prevent food from spoiling.
  • See Half Moon Bay's general disaster preparedness page at

(source: PG&E)