PG&E offers tips before storm

January 24, 2008 10:40:06 PM PST
A windy rainstorm moving into the Bay Area tonight will not be as menacing as the one that ravaged the region earlier this month, but residents and businesses should expect some power outages, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spokesman Brian Swanson said.

Swanson said repair crews will be on hand tonight in preparation for possible outages. Customers who lose power should call the outage hotline at 1-800-743-5002, he said.

About 1.1 million PG&E customers in the Bay Area had their lights shut off during a series of storms that peaked Jan. 4. In preparation for outages this weekend, PG&E is offering safety tips to its customers.

The utility is asking customers to make sure flashlights have fresh batteries and that cell phones are charged or a hard line phone is available, as portable phones will not work during an outage.

PG&E also recommends residents freeze plastic containers of water to keep refrigerated items cold during an outage, Swanson said.

Customers without power should not use candles for lighting because of fire risks or barbeques and grills for heat because of carbon monoxide poisoning risks, he said.

Additional information about what to do when a power outage occurs can be found online at