Public Safety Power Shutoff


BPA Public Safety Power Shutoff

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and Salem Electric are taking additional safety precautions to protect the electrical system during a wildfire. As part of BPA's wildfire mitigation plan, a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) may be implemented when hazardous weather conditions threaten the ability to safely deliver power. 


When could a Public Safety Power Shutoff Happen?

During fire season (typically May–October) there may be emergency situations or weather conditions that prompt BPA to de-energize transmission lines to minimize the risk of igniting or spreading wildfires. 

What will happen during a Public Safety Power Shutoff?

BPA transmission lines that deliver electricity to our substations will be de-energized. As a result, Salem Electric members would be without power.  

How will I be notified of a Public Safety Power Shutoff?

Salem Electric will notify and update members about the PSPS by phone, email, text message, social media, and website alerts.  Members should verify that SE has their current email address and mobile phone number by accessing their account online, calling our office, or emailing with their name, service address, and phone number.

How long will a PSPS last?

Depending on the severity of the weather and/or wildfire conditions, power outages could last several hours or multiple days. Salem Electric members should be prepared to be without power for several days.

forest fire
Emergency Communications

Don’t Miss Out on Emergency Communications!

Salem Electric Communications

It is imperative that Salem Electric has your current email address and mobile phone number. 

Please provide or update your email address and mobile number using one of the methods below:

  • Create an online account at
  • Email with your name, service address, and phone number
  • Call our office at 503-362-3601
Deconstructed Diagram

BPA's Public Safety Power Shutoff Information

Based on Salem Electric’s risk analysis of our urban landscape, a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) would not be implemented by Salem Electric; however, if Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) transmission lines are de-energized, Salem Electric members would lose power. Below are BPA’s  five levels of wildfire mitigation efforts.


System Hardening

Year-round vegetation management and system maintenance to minimize risk. 

Situational Awareness Monitoring

During fire season and extreme weather conditions, implementation of enhanced weather monitoring and weather forecasting.

Wildfire Season

Implementation of additional procedures for system operations during fire season to address the threat of wildfires during dry and windy conditions.

Extreme Risk Days

If warranted, BPA’s PSPS decision making team will notify Salem Electric so that we can send alerts to members  to prepare for a potential lack of power. 

Activate Public Safety Power Shutoff

As a last resort, if conditions worsen, the Bonneville Power Administration will activate a Public Safety Power Shutoff to protect life, property, and the electric system. SE will attempt to notify members as quickly as possible.

PSPS Diagram
Be Prepared

Be Prepared for an Outage

  • During a prolonged PSPS cell towers will likely be without power, making communication difficult. 
  • Create a year-round contingency plan for you, your family, and pets.
  • Make sure your emergency kit has a two week supply of water and shelf-ready food. Grocery stores will likely be closed during a PSPS.
  • Be sure your emergency kit includes batteries, a radio, flashlights, first aid supplies, and cash.
  • If you have a generator, make sure you have an ample supply of gasoline. Gas stations will likely be non-operational during a PSPS.
  • Plan for medical needs like medications that need to be refrigerated, or devices that require electricity.
  • Know how to manually open your garage door.
During an Outage

During an Outage

  • Limit the number of times you open your refrigerator. A full freezer of food should remain viable for up to 48 hours, and 24 hours for a half-full freezer. Salem Electric is not responsible for spoiled food.
  • Unplug electronics and appliances. Salem Electric is not responsible for damaged electronics and appliances. The best way to keep them safe is to unplug them.
  • Stay safe when the power is out.
    • Equip your home with carbon monoxide alarms.
    • NEVER use a camp stove, charcoal grill, gasoline or propane heater indoors.
    • NEVER use a portable generator indoors! Keep generators outside at least 20 feet away from doors, windows, and vents to avoid accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • Never plug your generator directly into a power socket, as this may result in backfeeding—a reversal of the electric energy flowing from the home circuit back to the grid. Backfeeding is very dangerous. It can cause serious harm or electrocution to you, your neighbors, and anyone in contact with the powerline.
  • Leave one light on. Flip all but one of your breakers into the “off” position. Leave a light on with the breaker you keep in the “on” position so you know when your power has been restored. Once power is restored, return each breaker to the on position, switching them one at a time.