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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 06-14-2018, 1:03 PM
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Default Utility cutting power due to wildfires

Utilities trying to decide when and where to cut power due to wildfires and most people in rural/semi rural are not aware of this plan. Nor are they all prepared to generate their own power. Days? Weeks? Month+ ?

If you live in/near a hot zone then it is a good time to gear up if you haven't already.

http://www.pgecommitment.com/communi...afety-program/
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PG&E is refining and executing protocols for proactively turning off electric power lines in areas where extreme fire conditions are occurring. We know how much people rely on reliable electric service, and would only consider temporarily turning lines off in the interest of public safety, as a last resort. If we need to turn off power, when and where possible, we will attempt to contact customers in advance to ensure they have time to prepare. We will also provide updates until power is restored.
More wildfire info HERE
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Old 06-14-2018, 2:04 PM
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seems PG&E is reacting to the whole incident where another utility is being sued for causes a brush fire due to a faulty power line. (maybe it was PG&E themselves? not sure)

plus, i would have thought they would have cut power off to the lines that are actively running through a brush fire unless it was tall enough to avoid damage from the heat?
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Old 06-14-2018, 2:08 PM
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They are cutting power under extreme weather conditions. If it is high winds and high fire danger the will cut the power to the area, it will be a proactive approach. That what’s happens when you sue them for fires.
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Old 06-14-2018, 2:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Scratch705 View Post
seems PG&E is reacting to the whole incident where another utility is being sued for causes a brush fire due to a faulty power line. (maybe it was PG&E themselves? not sure)

plus, i would have thought they would have cut power off to the lines that are actively running through a brush fire unless it was tall enough to avoid damage from the heat?
Which fire are you referring to exactly? As of this week, findings in sixteeen fires within PGE’s service territory from 2017 have been released, with PGE being implicated in all but five or six. Many have been referred to the respective counties DA for possible criminal action.

This is PGE reacting, but also reading the writing on the wall as Sacramento has proposed this policy as potential legislation. No utility wants to accumulate outage minutes, fines from regulators and loss of revenue is the result. But criminal liability, potential multi billion dollar penalties and lawsuits have changed that. SDGE has has this policy in place for several years, IIRC.

Yes, utilities do shut down transmission and distribution circuits during fires. They’ll even drop the de-energized line onto the ground if needed for access and air operations. Primarily to protect firefighters and other first responders.
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Old 06-14-2018, 2:34 PM
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Originally Posted by zinfull View Post
They are cutting power under extreme weather conditions. If it is high winds and high fire danger the will cut the power to the area, it will be a proactive approach. That what’s happens when you sue them for fires.
Exactly. And not entire circuits, but sections of circuits using reclosers. In some extreme cases the circuit will be completely de-energized, but that remains to be seen.
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Old 06-14-2018, 2:44 PM
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Originally Posted by zinfull View Post
They are cutting power under extreme weather conditions. If it is high winds and high fire danger the will cut the power to the area, it will be a proactive approach. That what’s happens when you sue them for fires.
and people will still ***** when they try to prevent forest fire.
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Old 06-14-2018, 4:05 PM
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Just spent 50 grand to upgrade power to the ranch. I would be pretty pissed if they did this.
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Old 06-14-2018, 4:38 PM
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I'm also thinking that PG&E will be much more aggressive in their trimming, regardless of how much the public screams. It would not surprise me if they hacked trees back to the bare minimum, or even took out entire trees if they they can argue that it is necessary.
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Old 06-14-2018, 4:42 PM
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Buy a generator or solar if you live in those areas. At least enough solar to get by. It is getting cheaper all the time.
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  #10  
Old 06-14-2018, 4:44 PM
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The criteria for implementing the plug pull is what to watch for.
Who will decide and under what general or specific conditions have to be met?
My guess is that CalFire will make the actual decision and utility will make it happen. They do that now.
Fires all take on a life of their own and can change direction/intensity. The "proactive" shut off could quite easily affect the wrong customers due to a wind shift. So they'll be left with a too much vs too little of a shut down decision. That could do as much damage as the fire or at least exacerbate the emergency.

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  #11  
Old 06-14-2018, 4:56 PM
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If your area gets lit up or the warning comes down you best be prepared to bug out or take steps to be on your own for at least a week or two.
Remember... People come first. Pets. Important papers. Food & water for the duration X2. Extinguishers at the ready? If you live in a known hot zone you already know what to do. This is a good time to test your HAM ht radios and make sure you can get real time info by listening to repeaters and or SO/FD/CalFire etc.

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"Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
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Old 06-14-2018, 5:28 PM
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SDG&E is doing this also
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  #13  
Old 06-15-2018, 6:03 AM
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They are going to be shutting power in certain areas during what they call weather events. High winds, high temps and low humidity. Its a done deal.

Being sued for billions of dollars for a tree falling across a power line in a high wind and starting a fire is the reason. The recent court cases and law changes taking the limits off for liability is the direct cause.

Its going to be good for the generator business. People could be out of power several days during windy hot weather.
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  #14  
Old 06-15-2018, 8:46 AM
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One last thought.
If you have family/friends that might need a bug out location and you can fit them in then do it. That'll be their plan instead of looking for a motel that may or may not be filled to capacity by the time they get there. Not having to drive around and look for a motel vacancy will save gas and possibly another stop looking for gas.
Remember to either have them stage some food/gear/pet+supplies/food ahead of time if possible so they can conceivably require less space if they're hauling out people, pets, boxes of pictures etc..
Keep in mind that there might be tag-alongs that you are not expecting. Have extra supplies if possible.
Just try to do everything you can do and leave the rest to your deity of choice.
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-- Frederick Douglass --

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Old 06-15-2018, 9:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeuerFrei View Post
One last thought.
If you have family/friends that might need a bug out location and you can fit them in then do it. That'll be their plan instead of looking for a motel that may or may not be filled to capacity by the time they get there. Not having to drive around and look for a motel vacancy will save gas and possibly another stop looking for gas.
Remember to either have them stage some food/gear/pet+supplies/food ahead of time if possible so they can conceivably require less space if they're hauling out people, pets, boxes of pictures etc..
Keep in mind that there might be tag-alongs that you are not expecting. Have extra supplies if possible.
Just try to do everything you can do and leave the rest to your deity of choice.
We are installing a solar- battery- generator system at one of my neighbors place this weekend. Wiringing and trenching is done, power building and is done. Picking up the gen set in a couple of hours. 48 Lifeline GPL-L16T-2V batteries. 60, 250 watt solar panels mounted on 2 rotating tilting mounts.

40 grand and counting.
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Old 06-15-2018, 1:12 PM
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It's a rational decision by PG&E. Utility stocks are supposed to be widow and orphan stocks because they don't cut dividends. But PG&E has stopped paying dividends altogether because they're afraid of going bankrupt after the fires, with the way the law is set up.

So, one of three things will happen. And it's going to take a few years to play out.

First, to avoid liability for causing fires when the vegetation is bone dry and the winds come through (even if they're doing everything right in terms of trimming vegetation), PG&E is going to shut off electricity. And this will be the new normal.

Second, residents will holler about not having electricity. PG&E will say "what do you expect us to do, go bankrupt, when the inevitable happens and fires start?" The laws will be re-written after residents complain.

Third, residents will holler about not having electricity. PG&E will propose a very expensive plan to bury the utility lines -- because the alternative is being sued out of existence if they're forced to provide electricity during high winds and bone dry conditions. And NorCal residents will pay for it with rate increases. Don't worry. SoCal residents will pay too with SCE.
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Old 06-15-2018, 2:33 PM
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Yep, unintended consequences of suing the power company for wind caused downed power line fire damages. Saw this coming a mile away. SCE will, if not already, follow suit.
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Old 06-15-2018, 2:39 PM
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I don’t blame them one bit. It’s a good training opportunity for each and every family involved.
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Old 06-16-2018, 6:59 PM
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Good old California and their Reverse Indemnation Laws. The state needs someone to foot the bill for the fires because it definitely won’t be them. Fire investigation is one of the biggest black magic bad-science things that exist.


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Old 06-16-2018, 7:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DSJW View Post
I'm also thinking that PG&E will be much more aggressive in their trimming, regardless of how much the public screams. It would not surprise me if they hacked trees back to the bare minimum, or even took out entire trees if they they can argue that it is necessary.
Actually they have been lagging on tree trimming. I think it’s cheaper to just kill power a few days a year.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:28 AM
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Actually they have been lagging on tree trimming. I think it’s cheaper to just kill power a few days a year.
That doesn't make "business" sense, at least to me. I agree with you that it is easier to just cut the power, but they still have to pay to have crews go out and replace the equipment damaged by any falling trees or branches. Those crews and equipment are far more expensive than the trimming crews. We'll see what happens over the next few years, but I suspect that their trimming standards will be a lot more aggressive.
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Old 06-17-2018, 1:37 PM
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The locals had a fit when PG&E did their clear cutting near power lines. Guess the locals got what they wanted then, but now it is PG&E that is the bad for giving in to the locals.
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Old 06-18-2018, 2:57 PM
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Originally Posted by edgerly779 View Post
Buy a generator or solar if you live in those areas. At least enough solar to get by. It is getting cheaper all the time.
Sure its getting cheaper but justifying a battery bank that just sits waiting for an outage is difficult to justify in grid tied systems.

A small battery bank just to run a refrigerator and freezer for 2 days would be in the 500-750 range using cheep golfcart batteries and only last maybe 5 years depending on use and maintenance.
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Old 07-11-2018, 6:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratch705 View Post
seems PG&E is reacting to the whole incident where another utility is being sued for causes a brush fire due to a faulty power line. (maybe it was PG&E themselves? not sure)

plus, i would have thought they would have cut power off to the lines that are actively running through a brush fire unless it was tall enough to avoid damage from the heat?
Power is cut to protect the fire fighters . Standard operating procedures.
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Old 07-11-2018, 8:37 AM
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Power is cut to protect the fire fighters . Standard operating procedures.
PGE is going to be cutting the power BEFORE the fire starts when conditions warrant it. They have always cut the power to areas during fires. During the Butte Fire in 2015 they had the power shut off to us before the fire got within 20 miles of us.

PGE came out and checked to see if we were back feeding the lines several times when they saw we had power. We had no grid power for 7 weeks after the fire burned in our area.
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