Planning for Unplanned Power Outages

We’re committed to providing you with the energy you need every day. But sometimes, unexpected outages occur.

Unplanned outages can be caused by many things—traffic accidents, damage to power lines, storms, high winds, even metallic balloons caught in overhead wires.

You never know when they’re going to happen, and that’s why it’s best to prepare long before your lights start to flicker.

What to Do in an Unplanned Outage

  1. Check the circuits and fuses.
  2. Call us at 800-611-7343 to report the outage. Make note of conditions: the more we know, the faster we can help you.In an emergency, phone lines may be busy. Be patient and try us again.
  3. We’ll send a troubleshooter out as soon as it’s safely possible to do so. In the case of widespread damage, we may send out an entire team.
  4. Once a troubleshooter or repair crew determines what repairs need to be made, we’ll give you an ETA for power restoration.
  5. We’ll work as quickly as possible to store your power. However, safety is our top priority, and no SDG&E employee will be allowed to work to restore power until it’s safe to do so.

 Even if you don’t see SDG&E crews in your area, we may already be working to restore your power in the area. After restoring power to your general area, we then repair any downed or damaged wires between utility poles and individual homes.

Because the same neighborhood may be on different circuits, the power could come back on across the street, but you’re still without power. Rest assured, we’ll continue working until each and every customer has power.

Use Our Automated System for Faster Service

Use our automated system to quickly report an unplanned power outage or to get updated information. Your current telephone number must match the phone number we have on file to use the system. Providing us with your current home telephone number today can save you precious time tomorrow. Call our automated system at 800-611-7343 to register now.

Emergency Supplies to Have on Hand

Plan ahead—these items can keep you safe, comfortable, and connected if the power goes off:

  • A flashlight with a supply of fresh batteries

  • A portable, battery-powered radio so you can keep up with news

  • A telephone that does not depend on electricity: cordless phones won’t work in an outage

  • A supply of easy-to-prepare, nonperishable foods. This includes packaged snacks, fruits and bottled water and juices

  • A wind-up or battery-operated clock

  • A first-aid kit

  • A manual can opener

Protect Your Appliances and Equipment

  • Unplug your sensitive equipment such as:

    • Microwaves

    • Computers

    • DVRs

    • Televisions

  • Install sensors or surge protectors to protect your appliances and equipment from surges when the power is restored.

  • Turn off any major appliances like washers or air conditioners to prevent them from unexpectedly coming on when the power is restored.

  • Leave one light on so you’ll know when the power is back on.

  • Double-check to make sure all heat producing appliances like stoves, toaster ovens, irons and hair curlers, are turned off to minimize any fire hazard if the power is restored while you’re away.

  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed to help keep in the cold air and prevent food spoilage.

    • A closed refrigerator can keep food cold for up to 24 hours and a closed
      freezer can keep food frozen for up to 48 hours.

    • Dry ice can be used to help protect the items in your refrigerator and freezer during extremely long outages.

    • Use gloves when handling dry ice, and don’t place it in direct contact with food or drinks.