Power Shutoff Safety Checklist

Power Shutoff Safety Checklist

Based on information gathered from PG&E, the California Office of Emergency Services, and ready.gov, we’ve compiled a checklist of recommendations for what to do before, during, and after a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) that may be helpful­­­ to Sebastopol residents.  Many of these tips are also useful for other disaster and emergency situations. 

Please note that this list is not all-inclusive.

Please call 911 only in the event of a life or safety-threatening emergency.
Police (non-emergency):  (707) 829-4400                    Fire (non-emergency):  (707) 823-8061

  • Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency contacts, such as numbers of hospitals, fire departments, police, friends and relatives.
  • Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, and first aid supplies.
  • Keep in mind the needs of the elderly and young children and pets.
  • Know how to manually open garage doors - park outside if you do not know how to do this.
  • Make sure smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are ready.
  • Keep emergency water (1 gallon per person per day is recommended) and food supplies that do not require refrigeration on hand.
  • Ensure your vehicles are fueled or charged.
  • Ensure you have cash on hand as banks may not be open.


  • Unplug or turn off appliances, equipment and electronics to avoid damage caused by surges when the power is restored.
  • Use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire.
  • Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns. Then, turn your appliances on, one at a time.
  • Typically, your refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours and a full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours--as long as the freezer and refrigerator doors are kept closed. Consider using coolers with ice to keep food cold and safe.
  • Be sure to use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills outdoors only. Do not use a gas stove for heat.
  • If you must leave your home, use extreme caution when driving as traffic signals may not be operational.
  • Check on your neighbors.
  • When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.
  • If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. If a life depends on the refrigerated drugs, consult a doctor or pharmacist and use medicine only until a new supply is available.