Power Outage Preparedness: How Californians Can Get Ready 


As another strong winter storm brings low elevation snow, gusty winds, and rain to many parts of the state, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) encourages all Californians to be prepared for the potential of downed trees and power outages. 

If power lines are damaged, many Californians could be without power for hours and in some cases, several days.  

Preparing for a Power Outage 

There are steps you can take now to prepare for a power outage. 

  • Take inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity and plan for alternative power sources. 
  • Have flashlights ready in different parts of your home. 
  • Keep your vehicles fully gassed in case you need to leave in a hurry. 

Know Your Medical Needs 

Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Know how long your medications can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life. 

Sign Up for Alerts 

Stay informed and know where to go to get local resources to minimize disruption if your power is off. 

Pacific Gas & Electric 

Southern California Edison 


Generator Safety 

Many families use generators as an alternative power source when the lights go out. There are several steps to keep in mind when using a generator to keep your family safe. 

  • Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open. 
  • Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows. 
  • Keep generators away from buildings and anything flammable, including dry brush. 
  • Keep generators dry and protected from rain and flooding. 
  • Install working carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. 

Food Storage 

Have enough nonperishable food and water for every member of your household for three days. Open freezers and refrigerators only when necessary. Your refrigerator can keep food cold for four hours. A full freezer will maintain temperature for two days. Use coolers with ice if necessary. 


Power Outage Tips – Ready.Gov 

Prepare for Power Down