This morning, our director of fire science and climate adaptation, Brian D’Agostino, appeared on KUSI’s Good Morning San Diego Show to discuss SDG&E’s wildfire safety and prevention programs.
Since joining SDG&E as its first meteorologist in 2009, D’Agostino has been instrumental in building the meteorology program and weather and fire forecasting tools that help not just SDG&E but local fire departments plan and prepare for extreme conditions.
“Right now we’re actually sharing what we’ve learned here in San Diego with the rest of the state and trying to help educate folks on the safest options for the community,” said D’Agostino.
SDG&E has a network of 177 weather stations located in high fire threat areas, keeping tabs on wind, temperature and humidity conditions around the clock. Leveraging the data collected by the weather stations, our meteorology team issues a daily Fire Potential Index, which classifies fire conditions as "normal", "elevated" or "extreme." Factors that go into creating the index include the state of seasonal grasses, ratio of dead fuel moisture compared to live fuel moisture, and sustained wind speeds. The Fire Potential Index is shared with fire agencies, emergency responders, and the National Weather Service.
Ahead of the wildfire season, we launched a public education campaign to raise awareness about the potential for public safety power shutoffs during extreme weather events, such as when there are high winds, low humidity and dry vegetation. As part of the campaign, everyone is urged to make sure their contact information is updated with us, so they can receive alerts and notifications via email, phone, and text, ahead of potential public safety power shutoffs. To update your contact information, please visit sdge.com/myaccount.
“We’re trying to make those phone calls at least two days in advance and that’s when we let people know that there is a potentially catastrophic event coming,” D'Agostino said.
To learn more about our wildfire safety efforts, visit sdge.com/wildfire-safety. To learn what you should do to prepare for a public safety power shutoff, including putting together an emergency plan and an emergency preparedness kit, visit prepareforpowerdown.com.