PG&E has notified the Lab that it will shut off power to the main campus sometime after midnight to minimize the risk of a wildland fire. As a result, the Lab’s main location on the hill will be closed effective Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 12:01 a.m. and will remain closed until PG&E restores power and the Lab has safely restarted our facilities and operations. All personnel except for those performing emergency functions should leave the Lab by midnight.
PG&E has stated that once power is turned off, it will remain off until they can inspect power lines and repair any damage, a process that can take up to five days.
We need you to stay in touch
Personnel who are not working at the hill should continue to monitor status.lbl.gov, at 1-800-445-5830, and on a new Twitter account, @LBNLstatus for return to work information. This information will also be shared via LabAlert to those who have signed up for text messaging or with their personal email.
Here is the latest information the Lab has on the situation:
The Lab is taking action
The Lab has activated and staffed the Emergency Operations Center. Representatives from across the Lab are executing the Lab’s emergency plan and moving forward with shutdown procedures in order to power down the Lab in an orderly and safe manner.
Please ensure there are no active experiments in your area, and everything has been placed in a safe and stable mode. Please contact your facilities manager if you have questions.
Coming to work
Those who are assigned to the Lab’s main location on the hill are not to report to work on Wednesday, Oct. 9.
The Lab’s offsite locations in Walnut Creek, Emeryville, and Berkeley are expected to have power, and if you are assigned to one of those locations you are expected to come to work as scheduled on Wednesday. If you cannot report to work due to power issues elsewhere, talk with your supervisor about alternate work arrangements. If you use public transportation, check their website for updates on any service interruptions.
During the power shutdown, only emergency-essential personnel will be allowed on site. Blackberry Gate is the only gate that will be open and it will be staffed 24/7.
We will do everything we can to keep IT Services working. Email, G Suite tools, and essential business systems should remain operable. There will be disruptions to scientific computing resources such as SVM and Lawrencium.
Prepare at home
Take this time to prepare at home. Make sure you have plenty of food and water, your phones are charged, you have cash in small bills, your gas tank is full, that you know how to open your garage door using the emergency release, and that you have a plan for eating consumables safely in the absence of refrigeration. If you have children, contact their school or daycare provider about their plans for a power shutdown. You can see more preparation tips on the Lab’s emergency page.
This power shutoff is unprecedented for the Lab and for Northern California, and I appreciate your patience as we experience this together. Stay safe, make good decisions, and take care of each other. Whatever happens in the next few days, take this opportunity to learn and prepare for future emergencies.
Deputy Director, Operations and Chief Operating Officer