To reduce the risk of wildfire and improve safety, we're working to enhance wildfire prevention efforts, put new and improved safety measures in place and make our electric system more resilient.
We regularly perform a range of inspections on our transmission and distribution facilities, including:
- Power line and power pole inspections
- Ground patrols
- Substation patrols and inspections
Our vegetation management crews have been busy inspecting, identifying, maintaining and clearing trees under or near power poles and power lines that pose threats to public safety and to GWP’s power system reliability.
Wildfire Mitigation Plan
Our Wildfire Mitigation Plan focuses on the safety of our community and employees. It outlines our work to address the risk of utility-associated wildfire through a variety of programs for our electrical lines and equipment. Our Wildfire Mitigation Plan will be available in early 2020.
Turning Off Power during Red Flag Warnings
Safety is our number one priority. If extreme conditions, like high risk of fires threaten our electrical system, we may as a last resort, temporarily turn off power to protect public safety. The decision to turn off power requires the balancing of several factors, including, but not limited to:
- Circumstances of the emergency
- Wind speed
- Field observations by GWP and Fire Crews
While our risk of wildfires is low within Glendale, a public safety power outage could impact any of our customers due to the interconnected nature of the electric grid. If we must shut off power, rotating outages could occur. We would use every tool at our disposal before we would call for a shut off and would notify impacted customers by all means possible. If a shutoff is necessary, we will communicate with customers and key stakeholders, including government agencies and critical service providers to give as much notice as possible, and minimize the impact on our customers and community. Up to date information will be provided on our homepage and on our social media platforms.
How will GWP determine if the power needs to be shut off?
Each situation is unique so the factors that determine if GWP will implement a Public Safety Power Shutoff depend on circumstances. Turning off the power is a last resort to maintain public and customer safety during extreme fire risk conditions.
GWP will take a combination of many factors into consideration when implementing a power shutoff, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Extreme fire danger threat levels, as classified by the National Fire Danger Rating System
- A Red Flag Warning declaration by the National Weather Service
- Low humidity levels
- Sustained high winds
- Site-specific conditions like temperature, terrain and local climate
- Critically dry vegetation that could serve as fuel for a wildfire
- On-the-ground, real-time observation from GWP or Fire field staff
How and when will I be notified if a shutoff is necessary?
Whenever possible, we'll provide potentially impacted customers with notice before shutting power off, using all available channels to reach customers and other stakeholders with outage information. Sudden onset of conditions could impact our ability to provide advance notice to customers. If conditions allow, we’ll communicate with customers in the following ways:
- Automated phone calls will go out to customers in potentially impacted areas/neighborhoods advising when the outage is scheduled and directing them to GWP’s website for up-to-date information. Click here to update your GWP customer account information. In addition to our GWP customer account information we also utilize the City’s Emergency Contact information system and you can update your emergency calling preferences here.
- Through our website www.GlendaleWaterAndPower.com we could provide maps for areas that would experience rolling outages and which areas will be impacted next.
- The Customer Services Interactive Voice Response will have real-time recorded information informing customers that may be impacted before the rotating outages begin.
- Ongoing mass media and social media outreach will be provided throughout the shutoff to give customers and the community the latest information about the rotating outages.
- Our Twitter feed is also available on our homepage if you do not follow GWP on Twitter.
- Large commercial customers will be contacted by their GWP Account Advisor.
How long will my electricity be out if a public safety power shutoff is necessary?
In the unlikely event that we have to turn power off due to wildfire threat in our service territory, outage times will vary depending on location, severity and urgency of the situation. Power will remain off for the impacted areas until weather conditions improve and power lines are inspected and repaired, if necessary. This could take several hours or days depending on conditions. You will be updated of the time frame.
We may also be forced to turn power off due to a lack of adequate power supply from interconnected transmission lines from surrounding utilities. If the power supply is severely limited, we’ll try to reduce the demand for power as much as possible before going to rotating outages, which would be a last resort. The likelihood of rotating outages is extremely low, but it’s best to be prepared for such a scenario.
Why would a community not experiencing strong winds have their power shut off?
Turning off the power is a last resort to maintain public and customer safety during extreme fire risk conditions. All GWP customers could be impacted due to the connected nature of the electrical grid. We would rotate outages through all areas so one neighborhood is not impacted more than others.
Will I be compensated for spoiled food or other losses?
Since power will be shut off for public safety due to extreme fire conditions, we will not reimburse customers for losses. If rotating outages occur, power should only be out for one-hour periods of time, but all customers should be prepared for any extended outages and have an emergency plan in place.
What do I need in my emergency preparedness plan?
At GWP, we make sure you have safe and reliable electric service at your home or business. We want to offer you tools to prepare your home and family in case of an emergency. Use this guide to help you get ready. The safety of our employees, customers and community is our top priority. We encourage customers to take steps to prepare for wildfires. Visit CAL FIRE's website www.readyforwildfire.org for Wildfire for more information. For statewide wildfire recovery resources, visit California Governor's Office of Emergency Services at www.caloes.ca.gov.
If I am a Guardian or Life Support Customer will my power be shut off?
We know how important reliable electric service is to our customers, especially those using medical equipment. We make every effort to prevent outages but cannot guarantee that they will not occur. In case of emergency, every customer in GWP’s territory could be impacted by rotating outages. Please be prepared and find a location that will have emergency backup power and have a plan to evacuate to that location if necessary. GWP’s goal is to provide as much notice as possible of a public safety power shutoff to minimize the impact on our customers and community. A sudden onset of conditions could impact our ability to provide that notice.