Regarding the mandatory power outage in October, I can see that many citizens were caught off guard. Leading up to the outage, I received no less than five notices via email and text.
Many people in our over 55 residences were not informed by their administration that this was to occur. That was not PG&E's fault. Notification to those residents is critical as many of them are dependent on medical devices to live. Again, this was not PG&E's responsibility.
Perhaps public service announcements on social media, including television could help. But the nitty gritty of it is that we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our neighbors during these events.
Perhaps the management of the over-55 communities might buy some small generators and have them available during these outages. Other citizens should consider buying task-specific generators to protect vital food resources.
We need to be aware and help those who aren't able. Perhaps a voluntary citizen task force using personal visits or phone trees can help. I'm certainly not one to defend public utilities, as I feel they have a greater civic responsibility. On this one though, I'd rather the outages than a repeat of the conflagration of October of 2017.