By Miriam Raftery
October 28 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – With the strongest Santa Ana winds of the season forecast Tuesday through Thursday, San Diego Gas & Electric is warning over 32,000 customers that the utility may proactively shut off power to many communities to prevent lines from sparking fires, including some areas not previously impacted by outages. The outages could begin late Tuesday or early Wednesday and last as late as Friday evening, according to SDG&E.
The communities that may lose power are:
- El Cajon (portions of)
- Encinitas (portions of)
- Escondido (portions of)
- Jamul (portions of)
- Lakeside (portions of)
- Mount Laguna
- Palomar Mountain
- Pauma Valley
- Pine Valley
- Rancho Santa Fe (portions of)
- San Clemente (portions of)
- San Juan Capistrano (portions of)
- Santa Ysabel
- Valley Center (portions of)
- Warner Springs
Steps to prepare for an outage
While it’s not certain that all of these places will lose power, residents and businesses are advised to be prepared.
Have flashlights and extra batteries on hand, along with a battery-operated radio.
Fully charge cell phones. Have a car charger to charge phones on the road, and consider a solar charging station.
If you have medical equipment that relies on electricity, such as a breathing machine, contact SDG&E for assistance.
Park your vehicle outside if you have an electric garage door opener, or be sure you know how to open it manually.
Refrigerated foods are good for at least five hours if the door is kept closed to your refrigerator. If you have medications that must be kept cold or expensive food items, consider an ice chest or cooler that can be refilled to keep them chilled.
If you rely on well water, pre-pump some buckets of water to have on hand for livestock or other uses.
Have important phone numbers and information such as insurance policies accessible, not stored on a computer you can’t access if the power goes down. If you have a laptop or tablet computer, fully charge it before the outage so you can run it off a battery.
Consider buying a generator and learning how to use it if you live in an area with frequent outages or if losing power for hours or days would be a serious problem in your household.
You can check the SDG&E outage map for real-time outage information and also visit www.sdge.com for updates on power shut offs and resource centers that may be opened, where residents can go to charge cell phones or portable computers, get snacks, water, and updated information.
Plan out evacuation routes ahead of time, since you could lose communications including internet and phone service. If you have any form of communications, check frequently with Cal Fire, County Emergency Services, and our own EastCountyAlert on Twitter as well as signing up for our alerts via email at www.EastCountyMagazine.org.
If you see flames or there is a lot of smoke in your area, don’t wait for notification. Have an evacuation kit and leave if the situation seems risky, since evacuation notices may not reach you if a major fire occurs during an outage.
SDG&E estimates 1,898 Medical Baseline (MBL) customers reside in the impacted areas.
If you have obtained geographic information systems (GIS) data access from SDG&E, you will be able to receive GIS data via secure data transfer. If you have not set up access or have problems accessing this link, please see our updated outage information.
The following contacts are available if you need additional information, SDGELiaisonOfficerNotifications@semprautilities.com or 858-503-5450 or Emergency Management Duty Officer firstname.lastname@example.org or 858-503-5450.
SDG&E will send another notification when conditions change or if we turn off power for safety. For more information, please visit SDGE.com/Ready.