Bay Area police department's humorous PG&E power shutdown 'tips' go viral

PLEASANTON, Calif. -- A Bay Area police agency is trying to make sure residents are ready for PG&E's planned power shutdowns by using a little humor to get their point across.

MORE: 186,000 without power in Northern California as PG&E begins outages

The Pleasanton Police Department on Tuesday published a Facebook post that has gone viral, with more than 35,000 shares including one by the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department.


They also provided a humorous list of useful reminders:

Pleasanton Police Department Facebook Post

  • If you come home and everything is dark and nothing works, then yes, you are experiencing a power shutdown. Remain calm. Use your cell phone light to search frantically for the one flashlight you think you have in the house. It will be dead of course. Search for batteries. You will need four but only find three.

  • Wish you had charged your cell phone. Plug your phone into the charger but then say to yourself, "duh the power is out."


  • Charge up those portable phone chargers tonight. However, keep in mind, should your teen's phone run out of battery it could be a good thing. Watching them go through Tik-Tok or Instagram withdrawals could be good entertainment. Heck, it could even put them dangerously close to having to read a book by flashlight or doing something creative.

  • Please do not call 911 and ask when the power will come back on. Our dispatchers are very good but they cannot see into the future. They will tell you they do not know and then disconnect so they can answer the other hundred calls from people asking about the power being out.

  • Keep your freezer and refrigerator doors closed to keep food from spoiling. If you have teenagers this may be difficult so speak loudly but slowly to them so they understand. You may need to hang a sign on the doors as well. Use big letters.

  • Use food supplies that do not require refrigeration. We think potato chips, Twinkies, Oreos, and peanut butter might be a good start! Okay, maybe throw an apple or an avocado in there, too.

  • You will need a plan to keep medicines refrigerated or power-dependent medical devices working.


  • PG&E suggests you turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment or electronics. Power may return with momentary "surges" or "spikes" that may cause damage.

  • DO NOT use generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills indoors. Carbon monoxide fumes can be deadly. Moreover, never use a gas stove top or oven to heat your home. Do what your mom used to tell you to do: Put on a sweater.

  • Check on your neighbors. Even the one whose dog barks all night. And the other one who always parks in front of your house.
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