PG&E's uneducated blackouts in 2019
- Oct 29, 2020 6:06 pm GMT
I can't wait for the PG&E tell-all book. Or wait, has one already come out that I don't know of? Anyway, it just seems like news about the California utility's negligence keeps coming. Last week, the Associated Press published an article detailing the company's lack of training going into the 2019 blackouts. Here are some worthwhile excerpts:
"Responding to a disaster requires improvisation, much like a jazz band performance, said Chris Godley, director of emergency management in fire-besieged Sonoma County. An untrained PG&E last year was like having a stranger come to the show with their instrument, “walk onto the stage and just jump into the middle of the song.”'
"Yet in an answer PG&E gave in January as part of legal discovery amid a state investigation into the 2019 blackouts, the utility described its standards like this: “While PG&E typically staffs certain EOC (emergency operations center) roles with individuals having prior emergency management experience, there are currently no positions within the EOC organization structure that require prior emergency management experience, qualifications, or certification.”'
"In its statement to AP, the utility said “several” emergency management specialists and leaders had -- on their own -- studied the Standardized Emergency Management System prior to this year. Asked for a specific number, PG&E did not answer."
Isn't it ironic that the cradle of tech is served by arguably one of the nation's most dysfuncitonal and retrograde power utilities? However, if there's any silver lining to this, it's that PG&E handled blackouts much better in 2020. By all accounts, they were smoother and shorter. Better late than never, I guess.
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