Planning for the Power Outage

Oct 9, 2019

Hi all, while PG&E has been rather cagey, we're learning more about the planned power outages and we'll be updating this page as we get more information.


Update 10/10 3:00 PM PDT - PG&E conformed that we will NOT be affected by the outage. Yay, we have power!!!

Update 10/9 10:00 PM PDT - Power is still on at the hotel. It still may go out but if so, it should be back on by 6AM tomorrow.

Update: 10/9 4:20 PM PDT - Power should start being restored 10/10 at noon, but it may take up to a day or two to get everything back on (PG&E has to inspect all the lines before restoring power to them).

Update: " 10/9 2:30 PM PDT - PG&E has stated that they are delaying the start of the power shut off till 8pm tonight. Shutoff still scheduled to end noon tomorrow the 10th.

Update: " 10/9 11 AM PDT - I just spoke with the managers at the hotel and they have told me the following provisions are in place:

  • They have a backup generator and a backup drum of diesel that should last 3 days if needed.
  • There will be 1 Elevator working.
  • There will be lights in the public areas, California, and Contra Consta Ballrooms.
  • They are having battery powered lanterns sent up from San Luis Obispo and they will prioritize providing light for the 45 games room and the 3 larp rooms (Sacramento, Santa Rosa, and San Jose).
  • The AC will not be availability. Thankfully weather reports indicate this should be mild weekend (highs of 83 on Friday, otherwise cooler).
  • They estimate they will have hot water for 24 hours.
  • The room doors are battery powered, but they may not be able to issue key cards. Instead they have a single key fob per room that they will give to one person (and they will be asking to hold drivers licences when checking out the fobs). They will also have staff available to let people into rooms.
  • The hotel manifest (all the reservations) are being printed out every hour. They have backup power for their servers and terminals, but they are unsure if they will have internet access.
  • If internet access is down they will have a limited satellite uplink to Marriott Corporate for reservation information.
  • All the mobile providers have confirmed that cell towers will stay up during the outage.
  • They have additional recommendations for everyone staying at the hotel, which I've added to the suggestions for attendees below.
  • They will have to shut down all food service, however they are ordering extra supplies of non-perishable food that will be available.
  • Broadway plaza (1.1 miles from the Marriott) will have power and there are many food options there. The hotel will have two shuttles to help folks go there, or it's a nice 20 minute walk.
  • The room safes are battery powered and will still be operational.
  • The Marriott cannot guarantee power for medical devices (though they will try to help us as they can) and recommend making accommodations for any refrigeration and/or power needed.

Update: 10/9 5:00 AM PDT - The hotel still has power but PG&E is predicting an outage at noon today.


Posted: 10/8 at 10:20 PM PDT

What we know

Hotel: The hotel may be affected. If so they do they have a generator that will keep limited lights on and one elevator running. They won’t be evacuating the hotel. There will likely not be wall power though so have devices changed and bring batteries.

BART: At this time BART does not anticipate any outages, although the stations themselves might be affected. As I type, PG&E and CalTrans are working to get the major tunnells onto backup generators so they can stay open.

Driving: It sounds like the Caldecott will likely remain open during the outage.

Cell Service: Cell service should be up but spotty. Text messages are ALWAYS better than calling in an emergency; text messages will get there eventually.

What we don't know

Time and specific location of outages: PG&E says they are mostly going to go north to south, and when/where depending on the wind. Outages could start as early as midnight tonight, end time unspecified.

Events: We don't know yet which event spaces will be accessible during the convention if the power is out.

Suggestions for Attendees

  • Very important: Update the Marriott with the names of everyone in your room. If you can do that before the power goes out, do it online. Otherwise call them (925) 934-2000 or let them know when you check in.
  • Bring spare batteries, cell phone chargers, and car chargers if you have them.
  • Bring glowsticks or flashlights (NO OPEN FLAME)
  • Fill up your gas tanks before you get to the afffected areas if possible and keep them full.
  • Let us and the hotel know if you have any medical needs that require power (refrigeration for medication, charge for ventilator, etc).
  • Bring non-perishable food.
  • Bring cash (ATMs and credit card terminals may be down). Be safe though, keep valuables in your room safes.

More Resources

Preparing for a power outage: www.ready.gov/power-outages

Sign up to get alerts: Call 1-877-9000-PGE or text "ENROLL" to 97633

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