The PG&E Blackouts Had More of an Effect Than Just Leaving People in the Dark

Now that we have started settling into the fall season and the “wind events” (an actual term, now) have seemingly subsided, I’ve have some time to process much of it. right before the first event, I remember being at my daughters softball practice and other parents were talking about buying ice, and generators and all the other “survival items” that they thought that they would need. I was thinking to myself, should I be jumping on this train? I had just done a large Costco trip and had quite a bit of perishables that I didn’t want to lose… So I did, I joined the mob, stopped by the gas station on my way home, bought 40 lbs of ice and got my coolers ready. That night I went home and exhausted google for the best idea that I could get as to whether we were actually even going to lose power- turns out I was in a section that was deemed to be in the service area affected by the power shut off. We spoke to the kids about what it would mean if the power was in fact turned off, that school would be closed and it would mean that we as a family would be “figuring out how to deal with that” if the situation presented itself. The more I consumed the more real it all got- hundreds of thousands of people affected, elderly, sick, young, old, etc. In the back of my head I was thinking that I had been through something like this before- the Loma Prieto Earthquake in 1989- and I survived, Just like we would this power event (not that the two are comparable, really).  

The craziest part however, wasn’t how prepared or unprepared I and my family were though- it was how these power outages were going to affect our business and our clients. We learned really fast during the first event that there would be a ripple created but the events, an unintended consequence that would have an effect on me and my team- not having power in some of our service area meant that the real estate process was gong to be affected. Our business works hard to accommodate the real estate process and its (ever shrinking) windows of time to deliver service, so when power is going to be out in many areas that need our service we have to focus on how do we shift to make sure that we are able to provided what is need to our clients. For us, naturally our voicemail and emails were loaded with requests to reschedule, others completely neglected to realize that the properties that we were scheduled to service were “in the dark” and that we would not be able to offer a complete inspection. 

In the long run, nearly everyone was accommodated; it was a learning experience for us. Although we hope that these planned outages don’t become the new norm- we are planning for how we can best make our clients and partners aware of potential complications  in the future. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *