County of Marin Health and Human Services

Preparing for Extended Power Outages

Only call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing a medical emergency (e.g., severe bleeding, chest pain, etc.), or to report a downed power line or tree which could create a public hazard.  

Call 2-1-1 for non-emergency calls, including questions about medical devices, community resource center and charging center locations, and referrals to other social services.  

All questions regarding PSPS events and extended outages should be directed to PG&E via their website and 1-800-743-5000. Residents and businesses can access updated PSPS information from PG&E online at www.pge.com/pspsupdates and verify impacted addresses at www.pge.com/eventmaps.

For non-emergency information and referrals to resources, older and vulnerable adults can visit Marin County Health & Human Services’ online community resource guide at https://www.marinhhs.org/community-resource-guide or call (415) 457-INFO (4636) between 8:30 am. and 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday.  

Sistema de Alerta de Emergencias - Alert Marin

Registrarse para el servicio de notificación de emergencias de Alerta Marín. Este sistema se utiliza para alertar al publico de posibles situaciones de emergencia como tomar refugio en lugar por si hay un derrame de materiales peligrosos o una evacuación por un incendio forestal.  https://tinyurl.com/y4r8gwbn

Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Preparedness Information

Marin Health and Human Services is working closely with Marin Fire, Marin Sheriff, local jurisdictions, and community partners to prepare our most vulnerable residents for prolonged power outages due to PG&E's Public Safety Power Shut-offs.  

Wildfire season is here and Marin County residents need to be prepared for prolonged power outages related to PG&E’s efforts to reduce wildfire risks.  Having key items, such as a working flashlight and 3-day supply of water and food, is one important component of a preparedness plan and can make it easier to cope with power outages. But residents also need to prepare and plan to evacuate and to shelter-in-place.  Visit readymarin.org for resources to prepare yourself, your family & friends, and your neighborhood for prolonged power outages. 

If you are Marin County resident with a disability or access and functional needs (AFN), review FEMA's Preparing Makes Sense For People With Disabilities, Others with Access and Functional Needs and the Whole CommunityReady.gov has also developed preparedness resources specific for individuals with access and functional needs.

Preparing for Extended Power Outages in Marin County

What is a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)?

Most Marin County residents live in elevated (Tier 2) or extreme (Tier 3) fire threat areas. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is expanding its Community Wildfire Safety Program. This includes turning off electric power for safety (Public Safety Power Shutoff) when extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted.  Learn more about Public Safety Power Shutoffs at prepareforpowerdown.com.  

When will PG&E activate the PSPS? For how long?

PG&E may activate a Public Safety Power Shutoff if extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted to help reduce the likelihood of an ignition. These include, but are not limited to:

  • A Red Flag Warning declared by the National Weather Service
  • Low humidity levels, generally below 20 percent 
  • Forecasted sustained winds generally above 25 mph

Marin County residents need to prepare for up to a week and possibly longer without electricity.

If PG&E issues a PSPS warning, residents and business owners can review PG&E’s Fire Threat, PSPS Event Maps and Service Impact Map webpages to see if a property is in an area where power may be shutoff. If a PSPS event does occur, residents can access updated information from PG&E on the PSPS Updates webpage.

PG&E Power Outage Map

What should I do to prepare?

Ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings? When possible, PG&E will notify customers of a possible Public Safety Power Shutoff.  Register for PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Shutoff Alerts so PG&E can contact you when the power needs to be shut off for safety.  Also, register for emergency alerts at both Alert Marin and Nixle to receive notifications about other emergencies that may effect your safety  Learn more about Marin County’s Emergency Alert and Warning Tools.
  2. What is my shelter plan? Collect items you’ll need to evacuate using Ready Marin’s Grab & Go Checklist and prepare to shelter-in-place for at least 5 days using Ready Marin’s Build a Kit Checklist.
  3. What is my evacuation route?  If you need Electricity and Battery-Dependent Assistive Technology and Medical Devices, especially life support equipment (e.g., ventilators, apnea monitors, dialysis machines), you should consider staying with friends or family during a prolonged power outage.
  4. What is my family/household communication plan? Build a support team of people who will help you in an emergency if necessary.  The real first responders in an emergency are often your neighbors, friends and co-workers.  If you complete your Family Emergency Communication Plan online at ready.gov/make-a-plan, you can print it onto a wallet-sized card and share with your support team.

What if I need Electricity and Battery-Dependent Assistive Technology and Medical Devices?

  1. Update your contact information with PG&E at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or call 1-866-743-6589.
  2. Follow FEMA’s recommendations in its Power Outage Information Sheet
  3. Review and update the American with Disabilities Act’s Emergency Power Planning Checklist every 6 months

Emergency Planning Resources (Links to printable PDFs)

General Preparedness Plans

Red Cross Family Preparedness Plan
Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults and People with Disabilities
Important Medical Information
Medical Information Wallet Card - Rx
Ready Marin Checklists
Print-ready Marin HHS Extended Power Outage Information

Medical Condition Specific Preparedness Plans

Emergency Information: AFN Communication
How to Prepare for and Handle Power Outages
Emergency Power Planning for People Who Use Electricity and Battery-Dependent Assistive Technology and Medical Devices
Diabetes Disaster Response Plan
How to Prepare for an Emergency or Disaster When You Have Lung Disease
Oxygen Users Disaster Evacuation Planning Guide
Ventilator Respiratory Disaster Planning Guide
A Guide for People on Dialysis

Additional Resources

BC Association for Individualized Technology and Supports for People with Disabilities (BCITS). Self-Help Guide • Back-up Power for Ventilators.

California Office of Emergency Services (OES).  Office of Access & Functional Needs Library.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Power Outages.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Medicare coverage in disasters and emergencies.

FEMA. https://www.ready.gov/disability

Marin Center for Independent Living