Santa Cruz County: PG&E Helps Residents Prepare for El Niño

By Mayra Tostado

SANTA CRUZ — El Niño preparations are under way in Santa Cruz County where PG&E taught dozens of families how to prepare for extreme winter weather.

“We want customers to take all necessary precautions when dealing with El Niño-related weather events and possible power outages caused by wind and heavy rain,” said Rob Morse, senior manager of PG&E’s Central Coast Division. “We want families to stay safe and plan for emergencies before they occur.”

PG&E joined forces with the City of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Seaside Company, The American Red Cross and local agencies to host an El Niño preparedness workshop for Spanish-speaking residents.

The Jan. 7 event, which included a sandbag-making station, was attended by dozens of families and the first 75 to arrive received free emergency kits that were donated by PG&E and Santa Cruz Seaside Company.

“The City of Santa Cruz is grateful to PG&E for its co-sponsorship of our successful El Niño Prep Workshop for Spanish-speaking residents,” said Santa Cruz City Manager Martín Bernal. “PG&E’s participation and generous donation of emergency kits have helped our community to prepare for the predicted fierce storms.”

“This is my family’s first emergency kit. I didn’t prepare for emergencies before, but today I learned that safety should be our number one priority,” said Rosa Delgado, a Santa Cruz resident. “The street we live on usually floods and we’re worried that things could be a lot worse this winter.”

The first El Niño-driven storms have already hit Santa Cruz County and residents are doing all they can to prepare for more rainfall.

“I’m a little nervous because I have a big family, mostly because of the kids. We have extra water, canned food and camping equipment to prepare for emergencies,” said Pete Mendoza, Santa Cruz resident. “The workshop taught me good information that I can pass on to my kids to keep them and my family safe.”

PG&E has already set up a remote service center in Scotts Valley to improve its response time during storms.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure we provide the safest and most reliable service to our customers 365 days a year,” said Morse. “We have been stockpiling the equipment that will be needed should heavy storms damage components such as a utility poles, transformers and power lines.”

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