Emergency Preparedness-Powerline Safety

The City of Mill Valley has an extensive grid of power lines that reach from the city's upper limits on Mt. Tamalpais all the way down to the Bay. With PG&E’s work in conjunction with the Fire Department’s Vegetation Management Program, the system of poles and wires typically goes unnoticed and without hazard. However, occasions such as storms, floods, fires and other accidents can cause these highly energized lines to fall and make an otherwise harmless situation extremely dangerous.


What should I do if I see a down power line?

  • DON’T TOUCH IT- by touching the power line, you could complete the circuit between the power grid and the ground and result in catastrophe. This includes touching it with a stick, broom or any other long object.
  • STAY BACK- an energized power line can “dance” and move. Keep your distance to avoid being touched by the power line.
  • CALL 911- Don’t be afraid to call 911. Downed power lines is a serious emergency. The Fire Department can keep the area safe while PG&E is responding.
  • TELL OTHERS TO STAY BACK- Power lines can sometimes be hard to see. Be a part of our safer community and tell others to keep back!


Can I drive over the power line?

  • NO- Never drive over downed power lines. It is always safer to take the long way around. It isn’t worth catastrophe.


What do I do if the power line is on my car or house?

  • STAY PUT- Stay where you are and call 911. By exiting the car or house you could put your feet in contact with the energized area of ground surrounding downed power lines. This energized ground is just as dangerous as the wire itself.
    • If your car or house is no longer safe to stay in, jump out and land with both feet together. Then shuffle to a safe location without lifting your feet off the ground.    



Check out the information provided by PG&E