MENDOCINO Co., 11/02/19 — After two nearly continuous Pacific Gas & Electric intentional blackouts, leading to our entire county being without power for over four days, Mendocino County residents are on edge about what this new policy might mean for their lives. So it seems useful to say at this moment, that to the best knowledge of public officials, PG&E currently has no plans to shut off power in the next several days.
Mendocino County officials reiterated this message, on Friday, to quell a growing number rumors claiming that a power outage was imminent, though one is not. However, we are not truly out of the woods, and if the weather shifts, another outage is possible before the rains come. There may, however, be planned temporary outages around the county due to repairs the utility company is conducting, but these are unlikely to last more than a few hours, and are different than the power shut-offs due to risk of fire weather and high wind.
Here is the Facebook message posted by the County of Mendocino at around 4:30 p.m on Friday, which had been shared 274 times about 24 later at 4:40 p.m. on Saturday afternoon:
There is a rumor going around of a possible PSPS event on 11/5. As of today’s call with CalOES and PG&E, there is NO scheduled or forecasted PSPS event for next week in Mendocino County. The County will notify residents if we hear anything regarding a new PSPS event. More information on Public Safety Power Shutoffs visit www.pge.com/psps and www.mendocinocounty.org/pspsCounty of Mendocino
If we were to speculate here at The Mendocino Voice (something we rarely do, preferring to stick to the facts), we might infer that well-intentioned use of social media is to blame — that in a rush to share information people don’t always check to see the date and time when something was published, and many people don’t realize that many social media platforms often show you posts OUT of chronological order.
That means you might see a post that gets a lot of shares and comments before you see one that was just posted, and so has the latest info. As people and their local officials increasingly rely on social media platforms to share info, it’s important to learn how to navigate these tools so you can make sure you’re also sharing accurate info.
We spend a lot of time on social media, as is the news business these days, and we also fact-checking behind the scenes — so we wanted to share these following tips with you. And we promise to let you know if we hear anything about another power shut-off.
Here’s some tips:
On Facebook and Twitter, posts are often not shown in chronological order, both in your feed, in groups, and on a specific page. First, check the time and date stamp of that post, and if it’s a link to a specific article, you may need to open that article and check the date it was published. For The Mendocino Voice, we always include what’s called a “dateline,” something like “WILLITS, 11/02/19,” which shows when an article was published, and if we are adding updates to breaking news, we include the exact time we’ve updated the article. We also will write “(updated)” in our headlines to let you know if we’re adding new information in a developing news situation.
On Facebook, you go to the specific page, such as The Mendocino Voice, you can look in the top left hand corner above the top post. There you will see either “new activity” or “most recent” or “top posts.” You can change this to “most recent” to make sure you’re seeing the newest information.
On our website, in the menu, you can go to “News,” and then to “Latest News,” where you can see every article we’ve published, in chronological order from most recent to our very first article in September, 2016. You can bookmark that and go directly there to see our latest info. You can sign up for our newsletter and get our headlines, in order, directly to your invoice a few times a week, plus our latest announcements.
After this power shut-off, we’ve done a lot of thinking about how to best get you information no matter the circumstance, and we want to hear from you about what works best. We’re working on developing an app, plus ways to text you articles directly to your phone, so even when the internet isn’t working well, you can know if there’s any alerts. Let us know how best to reach you in the comments, or at [email protected].