California Planned Blackout

Forest Nymph

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My entire county will be without electricity starting at midnight probably for two days until the high winds are predicted to die down.

PG&E has been sued extensively for damages from California fires, and instead of fixing their infrastructure, they're just going to punish a third of the population of the state by taking our power sources away. It does make us safer but it's also a crappy way to handle the situation.

Hooray for climate change. On a good note, this burns less fossil fuels. Except for all of those cars lined up at the gas station getting ready to drive to Oregon I guess?

I wont be able to get online. This is gonna be hella weird, the entire county having no electricity. I experienced this briefly while working in Trinity county but people were already camping. College students will be roaming the streets like wild dogs looking for something to do. Oh boy.
 

Lou

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Me too. Not sure exactly when or for how long. Or even if it's for sure.

I wasn't really worried about it till just now. When you said you wouldn't be able to go online, I thought to myself, well, my laptop is battery powered. :)

But then I realized that my wifi is not battery powered. :(

PG&E sucks!
 
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Forest Nymph

Forest Nymph

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Yep, when the lights go, the WiFi goes. The college is telling students who live on campus to stay in their dorms. As if thats going to happen.

I'm glad to be a student though because I get updates through texts at least, even though I'll be otherwise cut off from the entire world. I foresee myself walking around town a lot and reading other people's newspapers if this lasts longer than a day.

I did buy extra bread, I have a full jar of peanut butter, and if I'm not mistaken we will still be able to use our gas stove to cook food before it ruins. That's worst case scenario though. They wouldn't leave the entire county without power for five days, especially here on the coast where we have more fog and humidity than drier areas....would they?
 

Lou

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Hey, I just found a PG&E map for the affected areas and I'm close but not in one. So I will be fine.
It looks like PG&E is mostly concentrating on more rural areas.
But I already made blackout plans. So I'm off to take the doggie out for a hike. See you guys in a few hours.
 

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PG&E is anticipating widespread, strong and dry winds this week. Starting Wednesday, they are considering turning off power for safety to parts of California, including the Bay Area. So here are a few things you can do to help get through a power shutdown:
• If you come home and everything is dark and nothing works, then yes, you are experiencing a power shutdown. Remain calm. Use your cell phone light to search frantically for the one flashlight you think you have in the house. It will be dead of course. Search for batteries. You will need four but only find three.
• Wish you had charged your cell phone. Plug your phone into the charger but then say to yourself, “duh the power is out.”
• Charge up those portable phone chargers tonight. However, keep in mind, should your teen’s phone run out of battery it could be a good thing. Watching them go through Tik-Tok or Instagram withdrawals could be good entertainment. Heck, it could even put them dangerously close to having to read a book by flashlight or doing something creative.
• Please do not call 911 and ask when the power will come back on. Our dispatchers are very good but they cannot see into the future. They will tell you they do not know and then disconnect so they can answer the other hundred calls from people asking about the power being out.
• Keep your freezer and refrigerator doors closed to keep food from spoiling. If you have teenagers this may be difficult so speak loudly but slowly to them so they understand. You may need to hang a sign on the doors as well. Use big letters.
• Use food supplies that do not require refrigeration. We think potato chips, Twinkies, Oreos, and peanut butter might be a good start! Okay, maybe throw an apple or an avocado in there, too.
• You will need a plan to keep medicines refrigerated or power-dependent medical devices working.
• PG&E suggests you turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment or electronics. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that may cause damage.
• DO NOT use generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills indoors. Carbon monoxide fumes can be deadly. Moreover, never use a gas stove top or oven to heat your home. Do what your mom used to tell you to do: Put on a sweater.
• Check on your neighbors. Even the one whose dog barks all night. And the other one who always parks in front of your house.
 
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Forest Nymph

Forest Nymph

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So fortunately in my area we got through it relatively quickly, in under two days.

I guess some of the university students really freaked out. Not sure if this is due to the fact that many are very young and from dense urban areas like Los Angeles or San Diego where they may have rarely or never experienced true darkness or power down. Also could just be provoking fears of climate change disasters or the new found realization that in the event of a severe earthquake we'd be isolated here for nearly two weeks with absolutely nothing (except an abundance of water and farms and temperate weather, things people legitimately need to survive such an event).

I felt a bit lonely but the nearest cafe was open, selling beer by candlelight which was fun.

I also got some 50 percent off tofu due to the co op fearing unsellable perishables.

Then when the power came back on, the university gave all students, staff and faculty free food in the cafeteria, including vegan options which was nice.

So I'm sure there were others who had it worse.
 

Lou

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So fortunately in my area we got through it relatively quickly, in under two days.

I guess some of the university students really freaked out. Not sure if this is due to the fact that many are very young and from dense urban areas like Los Angeles or San Diego where they may have rarely or never experienced true darkness or power down. Also could just be provoking fears of climate change disasters or the new found realization that in the event of a severe earthquake we'd be isolated here for nearly two weeks with absolutely nothing (except an abundance of water and farms and temperate weather, things people legitimately need to survive such an event).

I felt a bit lonely but the nearest cafe was open, selling beer by candlelight which was fun.

I also got some 50 percent off tofu due to the co op fearing unsellable perishables.

Then when the power came back on, the university gave all students, staff and faculty free food in the cafeteria, including vegan options which was nice.

So I'm sure there were others who had it worse.


WB
 

Lou

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We just had a little heatwave and then some more fires and now we are having more planned blackouts.
I checked the map and I'm not affected. I don't think Forest Nymph will be affected either.

There is now a plan (early days) that would buy out PG&E and turn it into customer-owned utility. I'm not sure how this works but at this point, I think anything would be an improvement.

I know that technology isn't always the answer but this is a technology problem. I think it would have a technology solution.
 

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Me too. Not sure exactly when or for how long. Or even if it's for sure.

I wasn't really worried about it till just now. When you said you wouldn't be able to go online, I thought to myself, well, my laptop is battery powered. :)

But then I realized that my wifi is not battery powered. :(

PG&E sucks!
For a moment there, I thought you said that your wife is not battery powered, and I wondered why that was a bad thing.
 
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Mischief

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Fires are scary. I hope you all remain safe.

I suspect that these rolling blackouts may partially be a way for the utility company to extort the state legislature into giving the company statutory immunity from liability for wild fires. Time will tell; it'll be interesting to see how long it takes them to come up with an alternative method of dealing with the situation.
 
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Forest Nymph

Forest Nymph

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Actually I have received texts and emails saying I may lose power on Saturday. My exact address is also slated on their site to possibly lose power within 36-48 hours.

I hope not. The crazy thing is despite all this, the fire in wine country yesterday started because of PG&E faulty equipment. This is absurd.
 
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Lou

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There should be some way to install some kind of sensors to power poles. maybe with a radio signal. sure it would be expensive but not as much as burning up a whole town, forest, vineyard, etc. Not to mention how much these rolling blackouts are costing businesses.
In my apt building, we have fire doors. when the power goes off the door close. its low tech with magnets. I'm pretty sure the concept could work on power transmission lines. When the poles go down the electricity is shut off. In retrospect, this seems just like a common-sense safety measure. we should have been doing this from the start.
 
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Forest Nymph

Forest Nymph

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The problem is obviously PG&E not wanting to spend the money. Campus will be on lock-down starting tomorrow at 9 am, meaning since I live off-campus I have no access to any campus resources like the library or computer labs, with the exception of emergency food and support they offer to all students in one building near the freshman residence halls. I don't think I'll need it, but if the blackout persists I'll probably wander there for entertainment or company. One of my friends is supposed to be having her birthday party tomorrow, which is weird, hopefully the lights will be on until tomorrow night. Campus is closed and classes are canceled all the way until Monday night/Tuesday morning, which also seems like a huge overreaction to me. Maybe there will be free food in the cafeteria again when the lights come back on.

That means I'm finishing my mid-term prospectus paper right now even though it's not due electronically until midnight tomorrow, which is kind of crappy, but what can I do.
 
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Forest Nymph

Forest Nymph

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My professor emails us like 45 minutes ago saying the huge midterm paper is due when the blackout ends. Yeah thanks a lot, I worked half the day in an intense manner yesterday on finishing after the college announced it would lock down this morning.

Oh well. At least I don't have to worry about it since I turned it in last night.
 

SapphireLightning

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Wow it's getting even worse!