How Grocers Can Prepare for PG&E Wildfire Power Outages

Wildfire season is approaching. High winds or falling trees often bring down live power lines which can ignite dry brush and start wildfires. PG&E can shut down the power grid to remove the risk, and has often done so in the past.

For grocery stores, power outages are costly. They interrupt business and are capable of destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars of perishable stock. It’s unfortunate, but your property insurance policy is unlikely to cover these power outages. Insurance coverage for PG&E-initiated power outages is generally unavailable; however, there are a few steps you can take to reduce your loss during these outages.

Here’s what to do when your grocer’s insurance policy won’t cover PG&E wildfire power outages:

Get Refrigerated Trucks

This isn’t the best solution, but it will do in a pinch. Be aware that there might be a shortage of trucks when you need them, leaving you with the option of turning to dry ice and hope.

It’s an option to be aware of, but not one you should rely on.

Install a Backup Generator

Invest in a commercial standby generator that will cover your whole building. Small generators won’t get the job done. Work with your electrician to ensure that the generator can handle the power loads of all of your coolers and freezers.

Factor fuel costs into these investments. You’ll want your generator to include a large fuel tank, one that can provide power to your establishment for days.

Why not rent a generator? While it’s possible to do so, there’s the chance you won’t be able to get one when you need one due to limited supplies. High priority customers such as hospitals and other medical facilities are first in line.

It’s all about being prepared for more PG&E wildfire outages

It would be nice to hope that the wildfires would stop, or that PG&E would ultimately do a better job of managing them. Yet for grocers left without options, being prepared remains the best defense.

And while most insurance policies won’t cover PG&E outages due to wildfires, there are many other exposures it will cover.

Contact us today to be sure your grocery store has the right insurance coverage.