Pacific Power warns of possible safety-related outages during wildfire season
NW utilities urge preparation of 'outage kits,' other steps
PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- To recognize National Wildfire Awareness Month, Portland General Electric, Pacific Power and Idaho Power are encouraging Oregonians to prepare for wildfire season. "Fire-weather conditions, such as severe drought combined with summer windstorms or active wildfires, could lead to safety-related power outages," they warned Monday.
Here's a news release from the three main Northwest electric utilities about what steps residents should take:
Portland General Electric, Pacific Power and Idaho Power continue to invest in and prepare their electric grids to deliver reliable power and operate safely in all seasons. Even as electric providers partner with federal, state, and local agencies and Tribes to plan and prepare for the upcoming wildfire season, preparedness is a shared responsibility. Resources are available to help every Oregonian take steps to plan ahead and be ready for wildfire-related power outages.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission recently approved utility wildfire mitigation plans for 2022.
“These plans reflect hard work by utilities to understand wildfire risk and adapt their systems and operations to increase the safety and resiliency of electricity supply,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair. “Utility efforts are important, but all Oregonians have a role in preparing for and mitigating wildfires.” At wildfire.oregon.gov, Oregonians can find tips to stay informed, make a plan, and trim trees and plants to create defensible spaces to slow the spread of wildfire.
Stay in the know
Customers for all three electric providers can take steps to make sure that they receive wildfire-related information.
- Log in to their account and make sure all contact information is current. That way, an electric provider can send alerts and messages.
- In addition to having a back-up plan with medical providers, customers who rely on electricity to store medication or operate medical equipment at home should enroll in their electric provider’s Medical Certificate Program, if available, to receive proactive communications about outages.
- Visit Oregon Alert at https://oralert.gov to find your local alert system. Provide current contact details and sign up for wildfire-related alerts.
Make an outage kit
- Prepare a home outage kit in the event wildfire leads to a power outage. Be sure to include shelf-stable food, water for household members, pets and any livestock, necessary medications, flashlights, batteries and solar or car chargers for electric devices. Keep ice packs or frozen water in the freezer to help keep food cold until ice is available.
- Businesses should prepare to minimize disruption, keep employees safe and protect equipment. Outage kits should include flashlights or camp lights for all areas, including restrooms, battery-powered or hand-crank radios for information, battery-powered fans, extra batteries, car chargers for cell phones and electric devices, bottled water and emergency phone numbers.
Have a plan
- Consider options to relocate with a friend, family member or shelter, especially if a medical condition, medication or equipment requires electricity.
- Businesses should communicate their outage responses plan to key employees, plan for workarounds to computers and cash registers, and make a plan to bypass electronic door locks.
- Homes and businesses should consider buying backup generators. Information on how to operate them safely is available from each of the utilities in the information and resources below.
- Make a plan for watering livestock if well pumps are without power.
- Know how to open and close electric garage doors and security gates.
- Learn how to protect home and business electronics and appliances against data loss and surge damage when power is restored.
Information, resources and checklists
- PGE customers can visit portlandgeneral.com/wildfireoutages for information, checklists and additional resources. Information about how PGE works to protect people, property and natural environments, including its 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plan, is available at portlandgeneral.com/wildfiresafety.
- Pacific Power customers can visit pacificpower.net/wildfiresafety for resources and information including an outage preparation checklist for residential and business customers, an interactive map outlining potential public safety power shutoff areas and its 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plan.
- Idaho Power customers can visit idahopower.com/wildfire to learn more about summer outage preparedness and what Idaho Power is doing to protect the grid from wildfires.
About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon. The company serves approximately 900,000 customers with a service area population of 2 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE owns 16 generation plants across Oregon and other Northwestern states and maintains and operates 14 public parks and recreation areas. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE is committed to achieving at least an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from power served to customers by 2030 and 100% reduction by 2040. For more information visit www.PortlandGeneral.com/news.
About Pacific Power
Pacific Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than 783,000 customers in 243 communities across Oregon, Washington and California. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, serving nearly two million customers in six western states as the largest regulated utility owner of wind power in the West. PacifiCorp's long-term resource plan results in a 74% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and a 98% reduction by 2050. For more information, visit pacificpower.net.
About Idaho Power
Idaho Power, headquartered in vibrant and fast-growing Boise, Idaho, has been a locally operated energy company since 1916. Today, it serves a 24,000-square-mile area in Idaho and Oregon. The company’s goal to provide 100% clean energy by 2045 builds on its long history as a clean-energy leader that provides reliable service at affordable prices. With 17 low-cost hydroelectric projects at the core of its diverse energy mix, Idaho Power’s residential, business and agricultural customers pay among the nation’s lowest prices for electricity. Its 2,000 employees proudly serve more than 600,000 customers with a culture of safety first, integrity always and respect for all.
IDACORP Inc. (NYSE: IDA), Idaho Power’s independent publicly traded parent company, is also headquartered in Boise, Idaho. To learn more, visit idahopower.com or idacorpinc.com.