FSH Power Outage Impact Mitigations

Improving electric power delivery at FSH and mitigating the impact of future power outages

University staff are working in collaboration with the FSH community to identify and implement options to mitigate inconvenience during any power outage. Unanticipated PG&E outages can happen for a variety of reasons, such as severe weather conditions.

Here are actions being taken to address future power supply challenges to the FSH community:

Notification and Advanced Planning

When severe weather or other conditions known to cause or contribute to power outages are forecast, FSH residents will receive reminders from their housing office on best practices in preparing for a power outage. You will be informed of how FSH staff will support and communicate with you in the lead-up to a potential outage, and, in the event of an outage, what support can be expected by those who wish to seek alternate lodging in local hotels as well as those who choose to remain in their apartments.

  • Notifications and Reminders: Residents will receive alerts via community emails and newsletters in addition to broader messages issued by the campus.
  • Ensuring Sufficient Food Supplies: Dry, canned, and other long-life food products are available through the FSH food pantry and can be collected on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. It is recommended that all FSH households maintain a supply of such provisions at all times.
  • During an outage, the FSH Office will arrange for emergency food supplies as needed, including opportunities for the use of campus dining halls.

Establishing On-Site Power Backup

During the recent outage, generator power was brought in to keep the FSH Office and Community Room running. This provided a warm space in which residents could gather, charge devices, get warm drinks and snacks, borrow flashlights, and to use a stove top and microwave as needed. We are working to identify power solutions to power the entire community, allowing residents to weather any outage from the comfort of their apartments.

In collaboration with the Physical Planning, Development and Operations (PPDO) department, Colleges, Housing and Educational Services (CHES) is exploring options for expanding the number of on-site generators at FSH to provide power for the outage’s duration.

Engineering analyses and calculations will be undertaken to determine optimal sizing and distribution of generator loads to ensure sufficient power distribution. Consultation with the campus’s Environmental Health & Safety department will take place to ensure compliance with MBARD (Monterey Bay Air Quality District) restrictions to which the campus is obligated. Operational details, fueling needs, and safe storage of generators while not in use will be reviewed.

Easy-Access to Alternative Lodging Options During Power Outages

CHES has identified seven local hotels that will provide rooms, as available, to FSH residents during power outages with no up front cost to check in. Those preferring to secure their own lodging may do so by making arrangements with other area hotels but will need to pay for that lodging and submit receipts for reimbursement at a maximum of $200 per night.

Until an adequate power backup solution is established in the FSH community, in the event of an outage, alternate lodging options will quickly be made available. At that point, the FSH office will alert the community by any means necessary, up to and including door-to-door distribution of flyers, that alternate lodging has been authorized along with information on how to secure it. FSH will also alert participating hotels to anticipate the arrival of FSH residents. Residents will be informed of the check-in process, including what types of ID will be required.

Proactive Apartment Maintenance

If you are experiencing any problems with your apartment’s fixtures or appliances (e.g. furnace or range), you are encouraged to report these to the FSH Facilities team by submitting a CruzFix ticket.

PG&E and LIHEAP Programs for Energy Efficiency and Utility Bill Support

FSH residents who qualify for assistance programs offered by PG&E and LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) are encouraged to explore these options. Qualified applicants can receive home energy and weatherization assistance, and in some cases, may even qualify for utility bill reductions.

Learn more about the LIHEAP program and how to apply »

Information about the PG&E residential Energy Savings Assistance Program »