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Officials urge Central and South Counties to have plan for power outages: here's what they suggest

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SANTA MARIA, Calif. - While the massive power outage in Northern California continues Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties are in the clear for now.
However, PG&E and Emergency Management officials say to have a plan if the outages happen here.
      
Santa Barbara County officials are clarifying that a power shutoff warning sent to 32 Santa Maria areas was a mistake. They're still urging people on the Central and South Coast to be prepared though.

"We tell our customers to be prepared for an outage that could be 24 to 48 hours. Our goal is to get power on as soon as the weather event is over, and we are able to inspect our lines," said PG&E Spokesperson Brandy Merlo.
    
The Santa Barbara Office of Emergency Management says the key is to be prepared like any other natural disaster.

"You want to have an emergency plan. You want to have a communications plan for how you will talk to your family. You want to have a kit that includes food water and flashlights," said Office of Emergency Management Director Kelly Hubbard.
    
Officials say get a NOAA Weather Radio, which broadcast conditions.
Some models have a winding dial that can get a signal without power.
And if you have a generator make sure its apart of the solution and doesn't become a problem.
    
 "If you use a generator please make sure they are properly permitted that they are set up properly.
That they are not creating any issues back into the power grid," said Hubbard.
    
While there aren't any planned outages at the moment in the area, PG&E plans to continue monitoring the forecast for potential future shutoffs.

"We want people to be prepared and have a plan to be without power for several days," said PG&E spokesperson Linsey Paulo.
    
A combination of dry conditions, low humidity and high winds are among the factors used to make a decision on a power shutoff.
    
When asked if customers should anticipate frequent shutoffs during fire season a PG & E Spokesman said:

"We are continuing to make our system more reliable and wild fire-resistant. We will take the lessons learned and continue to work on our operational processes to try to improve the service to our customers."
     
A meeting will be held this Monday in Santa Maria for residents to learn more about PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoff programs. 

The meeting is on Monday, October 14 at 5:30 p.m.

At 511 East Lakeside Parkway, Santa Maria 93455. It will be held at the county government center hearing room.

The community meeting on October 14 will be streamed live on the County's YouTube channel "CSBTV20". A video of the meeting will remain on YouTube for viewing at a later date.


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