Over the past two months, we co-hosted six Safety Roundtables throughout the region with various organizations, engaging community members in valuable conversations about emergency preparedness and electric service disruptions during extreme weather events.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments at these forums.
We held the first of the six meetings in early March because we recognized that the prolonged extreme weather late last year created challenges for many of our customers due to service interruptions. We wanted to hear directly from residents in communities like Julian, Descanso and Warner Springs to name a few, who were particularly impacted by the loss of power during Red Flag Warnings.
As extreme weather conditions have become more frequent and wildfire danger has become year-round in California, we partnered with organizations like the American Red Cross and 2-1-1 San Diego who brought practical insights on how we, as a community, can work together to prepare for future emergencies.
Our highest priority is the safety of the communities we serve, and we recognize that there is a need for an ongoing conversation about policies, protocols and procedures that will help address the threat of wildfire throughout our region.
We are reviewing all the comments and ideas we have received from the approximately 200 people who attended the forums.
Please be assured that we will continue to invest in infrastructure and technology that reduce the threat of devastating wildland fires. As you may be aware, we operate 170 weather stations, placed strategically in our service territory to provide our operations staff, as well as local fire agencies, with enhanced situational awareness.
Our meteorologists will continue to refine the fire science we now have available, allowing us to make more informed operational decisions in real time. We are also enhancing our communications and procedures, as well as modernizing equipment.
These efforts will continue to help our electric system withstand extreme weather impacts to ensure the reliable delivery of energy to the millions of customers who rely on us every day to power their lives.
How Conditions Are Changing
California experienced the hottest summer on record last year, leading to what has been called the worst wildfire season in state history. In fact, here locally, the effects of a prolonged drought, our complex topography, lack of rainfall, and susceptibility to Santa Ana winds have also accelerated fire growth.
As a result of prolonged and more frequent severe weather patterns, emergency preparedness at both the regional and individual level is more important than ever. It’s top of mind now for many.
Keeping You Informed
While we work on new, additional solutions, the feedback we have gathered from the Safety Roundtables is front and center in our mind. We look forward to continuing to work all of our stakeholders to ensure our region remains prepared, ready to respond and resilient in the face of a changing climate.
We invite you to visit the SDG&E NewsCenter on a regular basis to learn more about updates or improvements ahead of the 2018 fire season.