PG&E Upgrades Tehama County Veteran’s Halls in Preparation for Public Safety Power Shutoffs
8 Sep 2020
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has opted to pay to make improvements to the Tehama County Veteran’s Memorial Halls in preparation for Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) during wildfire season. The Veteran’s Memorial Halls in Los Molinos and Red Bluff will act as primary Community Resource Centers (CRC).
Public Safety Power Shutoffs take place during specific high-fire threat conditions like high temperatures, extreme dryness and high winds. When conditions lend to wildfire spread, any electric spark, no matter the size, can contribute to widespread fire damage. The purpose of the PSPS events is to prevent the further spread of dangerous conditions and to protect the public.
Veteran’s Hall Upgrades
The upgrades to the Veteran’s Halls and use of the facilities were approved by Tehama County Supervisors in July in preparation for potential PSPS events.
A transfer switch was installed at the Veteran’s Hall locations by PG&E in order to power a sizable generator in the event of a power shut off.
In October 2019, several PSPS events took place. PG&E was forced to use tents as resource centers. These tents and popups proved to be unsustainable and expensive.
When PSPS events occur, millions of people are often left without power for a short time. While PSPS events are necessary to protect lives and our beautiful California lands, the shut offs can be an inconvenience without the proper Community Resource Centers. The use of the Tehama County Veteran’s Memorial Halls will prove to be invaluable.
PSPS During COVID-19
In the event of a PSPS during the COVID-19 pandemic, safety measures must be taken to avoid the spread of the virus. If power shut offs are deemed necessary, it is important to continue to observe public health guidance.
Practice social distancing, wear a mask (even outdoors) and avoid large social gatherings. Stay at home as much as possible, even when power shut offs occur.
Residents will be notified as far in advance as possible in order to allow time to prepare. For those who visit the Veteran’s Hall Community Resource Centers, smaller groups will be allowed to enter the facilities at a time in order to maintain occupancy loads that allow for social distancing. A potential mobile resource fleet may also be dispersed as needed. The first PSPS event of 2020 began Monday, September 7th and will continue until Wednesday, September 9th. Keep up to date with PSPS events here.