The social media team at the Pleasanton (CA) Police Department became an instant Internet sensation following a humorous post about a serious threat to public safety in parts of the Golden State.
PG&E—the natural gas and electricity provider in California, parts of Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona—has taken the unprecedented step of proactively shutting down parts of the electrical power grid to prevent accidental wildfires amid anticipated high wind and low humidity conditions in parts of California.
Pleasanton PD posted an image of the state of California marked in red on its Facebook page, indicating the areas potentially affected by power outages.
In the caption, the agency said, "If you come home and everything is dark and nothing works, then yes, you are experiencing a power shutdown. Remain calm. Use your cell phone light to search frantically for the one flashlight you think you have in the house. It will be dead of course. Search for batteries. You will need four but only find three."
The post continued, "Please do not call 911 and ask when the power will come back on. Our dispatchers are very good but they cannot see into the future. They will tell you they do not know and then disconnect so they can answer the other hundred calls from people asking about the power being out."
The agency poked fun at teenagers as well, saying, "Charge up those portable phone chargers tonight. However, keep in mind, should your teen’s phone run out of battery it could be a good thing. Watching them go through Tik-Tok or Instagram withdrawals could be good entertainment. Heck, it could even put them dangerously close to having to read a book by flashlight or doing something creative."
They added, "Keep your freezer and refrigerator doors closed to keep food from spoiling. If you have teenagers this may be difficult so speak loudly but slowly to them so they understand. You may need to hang a sign on the doors as well. Use big letters."
The post received widespread national media attention and has been shared more than 43,000 times.