Updated 4:22 p.m. Oct. 25 — Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has announced that Marin County — including all of the greater Tiburon Peninsula — could be included in its Public Safety Power Shutoff protocols in response to high winds and a red-flag warning, with power shutoffs tentatively slated to begin between noon and 6 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 26.
While the duration of the shutoff is unknown and will be determined by PG&E, the utility has also instructed customers to be prepared for outages that could last longer than 48 hours. A PG&E release distributed about 2 p.m. said the weather event is expected to last until midday Monday.
In a bulletin released just before 2:30 p.m., Tiburon Town Manager Greg Chanis said the Tiburon Police Department will have extra officers on duty throughout any outage, and that Tiburon Town Hall, which has a backup generator, would be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, to allow residents access to power. Chanis said the town is also working with Caltrans to provide portable generators to keep power on at Tiburon Boulevard's six signaled intersections.
Belvedere City Manager Craig Middleton later announced that the Belvedere Community Center would also be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday to provide residents a place to access power and to store medications that require refrigeration.
Earlier, in a message to parents shortly after 8 this morning, Reed Union School District Superintendent Nancy Lynch said that if an outage is initiated during the normal school day, normal operations will continue for the day — but school will be otherwise canceled on outage days. Lynch said that, based on PG&E estimates, she expected the shutoffs could last three to five days. Her email also listed a number of tips and online resources for residents.
The Marin County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services says it's activating its Electric System De-Energization Response Plan, which attempts to coordinate with local governments, special districts and county agencies with a focus on vulnerable populations.
While county public-safety officials and individual jurisdictions around Marin — including the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Reed Union School District — began alerting residents of the potential shutoffs and offering resources last night and first thing this morning, Tiburon's and Belvedere's public-safety officials had been silent until the town issued its bulletin.
Belvedere-Tiburon Emergency Services Coordinator Laurie Nilsen said in an interview late Friday morning that she was waiting for a noon conference call with the county Office of Emergency Services to get specifics before she was prepared to issue a statement.
Tiburon Fire Protection District Fire Marshal Mike Lantier said the agency plans to notify peninsula residents of the outage over social media only after PG&E confirms Tiburon and Belvedere will be included in the weekend's possible shut-off.
"We don't want to send something out before we know it's going to happen," Lantier said in an interview late Friday morning.
Belvedere and Tiburon have been included in PG&E's shutoff plan, for the first time since announcing the initiative, at least since it released its latest map of impacted areas about 2:30 p.m. Oct. 24. The utility says it will continue to monitor weather conditions before a final decision is made.
Lantier said local fire and police officials will encourage residents to follow PG&E's recommendations on how to prepare for and handle an extended power outage.
Residents with medical conditions who require continued access to electricity have been asked to contact the Tiburon Police Department to disclose their needs. According to Lantier, very few residents have done so. Those who have won't be automatically transported to a local hospital in the event of an outage unless they have an emergency and call 911, he said.
"The 911 system will still be up and running and we will be responding," Lantier said, adding that the department will be increasing its staff through the weekend.
Residents can also call 211 for non-emergency event information like community resource center locations, power-shutoff-area updates and other social services.
PG&E is asking customers to:
Update your contact information by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours. PG&E will use this information to alert customers through automated calls, texts, and emails, when possible, prior to, and during, a Public Safety Power Shutoff.
Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
Keep in mind family members who are elderly, younger children and pets.
Learn more about wildfire risk and what to do before, during and after an emergency to keep your family safe at PG&E’s Safety Action Center, https://www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com
In order to stay as up to date as possible on the most current information, our public safety officials are recommending that you register your contact information at the following sites:
Here are some additional links with important resources to assist you in being prepared at home.
This story will be regularly updated. Belvedere and public-safety reporter Hannah Weikel contributed to this report.
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Updated 4:22 p.m. Oct. 25