City Wants Residents Prepared

Last fall, Alameda residents felt the impacts from wildfires in the north, as toxic air was trapped in the Bay Area for days on end. As part of the City of Alameda’s recently adopted a Climate Action & Resiliency Plan, officials look to address the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events that can potentially impact the Island. The city offers these five steps to prepare for wildfires, earthquakes, storms and tsunamis:

Get alert notifications
The city uses AC Alert to send emergency notifications by phone, text, and email. Sign up today to be notified during an emergency at www.acgov.org/emergencysite. 

Other ways to receive alert notifications in case of emergency:

Share information the information received with neighbors or on social media platforms. Many people get their information from friends, family and neighbors. 

Prepare for public safety power shut-off
The risk of a wildfire in Alameda is very low. However, a public safety power shut-off could impact AMP customers. Though AMP maintains and operates the distribution and transmission grid inside of the city, the larger transmission grid brings AMP’s power to Alameda, and some of those transmission lines run through high-threat fire areas. 

If large transmission lines are de-energized to protect from the threat of fire, AMP may need to shut off power to help the greater electric grid. Depending on how severe the event is, this could mean rolling blackouts or power shutoffs in Alameda. 

What to expect in a power shutdown

  • When possible, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) will aim to notify AMP 48 hours, 24 hours and just before a shut down.
  • The city and AMP will use alert notifications to provide ongoing updates.
  • After the extreme weather event is over, lines will be inspected before power is restored.
  • Depending on how severe the extreme weather event is, power could be out for several days. It is important to have a plan in place for your household.

For more information, visit AMP’s website at www.alamedamp.com/338/public-safety-power-shutoffs or visit PG&E’s website at www.prepareforpowerdown.com.

For neighborhood power outages, check AMP’s website at www.alamedamp.com and bookmark AMP’s Facebook and Twitter pages at www.facebook.com/AlamedaMuniPower and www.twitter.com/AlamedaMuniPwr.

Prepare your household 
Preparing for an earthquake or a power outage is largely the same. Find videos, checklists and more information at www.alamedaca.gov/prepare.

  • Be sure to have a three-day supply of both food and water and don’t forget about pets.
  • Include a first-aid kit, medicines, warm clothes, and copies of important documents in an emergency kit.
  • If possible, have spare batteries for flashlights, radios, and phones. 
  • Be sure to know how to open garage doors with no power.
  • Freeze a block of ice to keep things cold for longer in the refrigerator.

Preparing for a storm
Throughout the year, the city follows a preventive maintenance schedule to help the stormwater system operate effectively during storm season. In the months before storm season, additional work is done to clear storm drains, outfalls and re-check equipment.

Two days before a severe storm, the city will issue a press release asking residents to report tree and branch failures, traffic signal issues and flooding. Street sweepers may alter their typical schedules to help prevent flooding. Free sandbags will also be offered to residents.

Call the city at 747-7900 to report:

  • Piles of leaves and/or other debris in the street
  • A culvert, inlet or storm drain that appears clogged 
  • A street tree that appears weakened, diseased or dying
  • Malfunctioning traffic signals, downed trees or branches, and/or flooding into a traffic lane

The city’s Public Works Department operates seasonal sandbag stations to help residents prepare for storm season at two locations:

  • Lexington Street at West Tower Avenue. For assistance loading sandbags, Public Works staff will be available on Mondays and Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. during the month of November and on Saturday, Nov. 23, from 8 a.m. to noon. 

Note that this sandbag station is typically closed during storms, as staff are occupied with storm-related service requests from the public, Alameda Police Department and others. 

  • 950 West Midway Ave. A self-serve sandbag station will also be available in the courtyard at the back of City Hall West.  

Learn more about the city’s efforts during storm season at www.alamedaca.gov/storms.

Help reduce impacts from climate change
Alameda residents can help prevent extreme weather events by reducing their carbon footprints. Learn more at www.alamedaca.gov/climateplan.