Power Outage Weds. Oct. 8 through Thurs. Oct. 9

Update #7 PG&E Power Outage 
5:04 p.m. Oct 10, 2019

Dear Campus Community,

We did receive an update from PG&E that the weather event has passed and the process of power restoration has begun.  The conservative estimate is that power would be restored by Friday afternoon however some neighborhoods in Moraga have already been restored.

Please be advised that when power is restored, personnel in Facilities Services and Public Safety will be inspecting and restoring services (e.g. relighting furnaces, opening elevators, checking fire safety alarms and equipment) for campus before we are fully functional.  They will work as quickly as is reasonable to address any problems that occur after power restoration.

We appreciate your continued patience.

Jane Camarillo
Incident Management Team


Update #6 PG&E Power Outage 
11:37 a.m. Oct 10, 2019

Dear Campus Community,

We have received updates from PG&E that the power outage will continue for the duration of the Red Flag Warning (expected to end at 5 p.m. Thursday). If the weather conditions improve, PG&E will be able to begin restoration of power, which they are projecting could take 1 to 5 days.  These are conservative estimates but PG&E are required to inspect lines prior to restoring power to lines.

For campus, the following are some updates:

  • The College remains open with modifications on office hours and services provided.  Students should attend to individual communications from their instructors regarding their specific classes.
  • The dining facility, Oliver Hall, remains operational for the modified schedule at the following link.
  • For the duration of the power outage, Public Safety and residential staff will be doing fire watch throughout the campus buildings.
  • If the power outage extends to the weekend, a generator will be set up for the Joseph Alioto Recreation Center (JARC) to provide hot showers for the residential population.  Additionally, the Recreation Center will be able to provide charging stations.  While they will have power, the services at the Recreation Center will still be limited.  We anticipate that this will be available later this afternoon.  Check this link for service hour updates.
  • There are solar powered charging tables (N=3) in the Ferroggiaro Quad area.  You will recognize them by the solar umbrella's and plugs.

Below is a summary of the Merrill fire in Moraga.  We continue to encourage that community members sign up for Nixle alerts in this zip code as well as consider signing up for alerts from the Contra Costa Community Warning System.

Jane Camarillo
Incident Management Team


Merrill FIre in Moraga

Saint Mary’s College public safety officials were informed early Thursday morning of a 60-acre grass fire that was burning near the Sanders Ranch home development in Moraga, approximately one mile south of the College. The Moraga Orinda Fire Department (MOFD) determined that the College was not at risk from the blaze, and reported that as of 5:20 a.m., the fire was under control.

It was further reported by the MFOD that the mild winds made it easier to fight and contain the fire. While residents of the development were forced to evacuate, Saint Mary’s students and staff were not impacted.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night, Moraga lost power as part of PG&E’s wildfire prevention outage. Saint Mary’s has taken action and is managing campus operations to support academic instruction, student services, dining services, and staff and administrative needs during the outage.

Jane Camarillo, Ph.D.
Incident Management Team

Update #5 PG&E Power Outage
11: 24 p.m. Oct 9, 2019

Dear Campus Community,

The power has been shut down on campus with no estimate for restoration. 

The College will remain open for classes and services with appropriate modifications.  There will be some exceptions so students should attend to communications from their instructors.

Oliver Hall will be operational as it will have generated power.

Students are asked to take precautions on campus given the darkness.  

Public Safety has extra patrols during the outage period and can be reached at 925.631.4282.

As we get additional information we will plan to communicate it out either through the website, social media or flyers on campus.

Thank you as always for your patience.

Jane Camarillo
Incident Management Team


Update #4 PG&E Planned Power Outage
8:50 p.m. |  Oct 9, 2019

Dear Campus Community,

The College received word from our PG&E representative that the planned PG&E power outage is pushed back to 10 p.m. this evening. 

I also wanted to share with you a few planning items that the Incident Management Team have discussed.

  • If PG&E does shut down power, it may take beyond Thursday afternoon for restoration to our area.  This has been discussed in multiple news reports.  The College will take action to assure that dining for the residential population continues throughout the days that extend beyond Thursday afternoon. 
  • We are also exploring options for charger stations particularly for the residential population over the weekend.  The broad impact of the power outage is affecting the availability of resources however we will continue to explore different options.
  • During the outage, we will be communicating any updates to the residential population through the residential staff.  For the broader community, we will have the ability to update the website (link here) and update the social media channels.  If you have a data plan on your cellular device, you should be able to access the College's website or if you live outside of the impacted area, you will be able to view any updates.

As a reminder, the College remains open with modifications in some office hours and services.  For those students who have courses in the next three days/evenings, please attend to communications from your faculty instructors.

Jane Camarillo
Incident Management Team


Update #3 PG&E Planned Power Outage

1:08 p.m. Oct 9, 2019

Dear Campus Community,

Please be advised that the planned PG&E Power Outage has been pushed back to begin at 8 p.m. per Nixle Alert from Moraga P.D. (see below).

The modified office hours are likely still in place but please check this link for any updates.

Thanks for your continued patience,

Jane Camarillo
Incident Management Team


Message sent via Nixle | Go to | Unsubscribe
Wednesday October 9, 2019, 12:45 PM
Moraga Police Department
925-888-7055 **** POLICE@MORAGA.CA.US

Advisory: Power Shutoff Delayed Until 8:00 p.m.

Dear Moraga Resident,

PG&E just notified us that the power shutoff is delayed until 8:00 p.m. due to weather conditions.  It is still anticipated to end on Thursday at noon.  The repowering process will start at that point, so power may not be restored immediately.

PG&E is constantly monitoring the weather situation.  Since the anticipated high winds have not occurred, they are delaying the Public Safety Power Shutoff.  

Moraga Police will continue to monitor the situation and send out new information as it is received.
Contact Information:
Jon King
Moraga Police


Update #2 
9:48 p.m. Oct 8, 2019

Dear Campus Community,

This is a brief update to the 5:12 p.m. communication regarding the planned PG&E Power Outage. 

  • Moraga Police Department issued the update from PG&E regarding the time of the planned power outage (see below).  The power outage is now planned to begin at Noon on Wednesday and extend until Thursday afternoon.  As was previously indicated, this power outage is in response to adverse weather conditions for wildfire danger. The range and duration of the outage is subject to PG&E evaluation of those prevailing weather conditions.
  • Early reports by CalTrans of a shut-down of the Caldecott Tunnel have been revised.  PG&E and CalTrans are reporting   that the Tunnel will remain open as emergency power generators are being provided to the Caldecott Tunnel.   I would suggest that this situation remains fluid and would advise that commuters who take this route continue to monitor news report as well as identify alternate routes to the Tunnel route.  Two alternatives include the Canyon route and the Fish Ranch/Claremont route to avoid the Tunnel if necessary.

Thanks much,
Jane Camarillo
Incident Management Team


Power Outage Weds. Oct. 8 through Thurs. Oct. 9

Update #1 
5:12 p.m. Oct 8, 2019

Dear Campus Community,

The following is an updated communication regarding the PG&E Planned Power Outage on Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. to Thursday afternoon.

We recognize that the campus will experience some challenges given the outage, however, the College will strive to do everything it can so that the delivery of instruction can continue. 

Faculty are asked to seek alternative modes to conduct their classes. Staff should plan on continuing their work on mission critical business recognizing that there are some modifications that they will need to make given the lack of power. Students are encouraged to be vigilant as their residences in the impacted area will be dark, as will traffic lights be flashing red. During these times, it is "back to basics" for note-taking in class and completing assignments if students are able to do so.

For students, please note that your faculty are aware of and likely impacted by the outages affecting you. They will communicate directly with you regarding any modifications that they may be making during this time. 

As stated in the earlier email, we do not anticipate a campus closure; however, with a lack of power, lighting for buildings, heat for hot water, and air conditioning will be impacted. We have some additional information. 

  • SMC’s Internet Service Provider is Comcast, and they are located within the impacted outage area. If Comcast loses power, the campus will be without Internet service.
  • With the power outage, VOIP phones will not be operational; however, voicemail will.
  • Public Safety will be on high alert to ensure the safety of our SMC community. Staffing has been increased to add to campus patrols from Tuesday evening through Wednesday.
  • For an update on modified operational hours for campus offices and services, follow this link.  
  • The College is not cancelling classes; however, please refer to communications from your instructors in the event that they change the class location or provide an alternative to instruction for your class period. 
  • SMCs social media channels and the College website will be updated during this period and accessible through your cellular data plan.

Please be reminded that the power outage may last up to 36 hours. The College’s Incident Management Team will continue to monitor conditions and provide updates to the community.

Again, thank you for your patience during this period,

Jane Camarillo
Incident Management Team -
Jane Camarillo, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Student Life
Saint Mary’s College of California


Power Outage Weds. Oct. 8 through Thurs. Oct. 9

10:26 p.m. Oct. 7, 2019

Dear Campus Colleagues,

There is a planned PG&E power outage scheduled for Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. until Thursday afternoon.  This planned power outage is reported to impact Moraga, Orinda and Lafayette (see Nixle notice below).  It is the PG&E response to the weather forecast for the East Bay.  Though winds are anticipated to be high, temperatures for our area are not.

We do not anticipate a campus closure however there will be an impact without power on lighting for buildings, heat for hot water, and air conditioning.  The College's internet should remain up though wifi will likely not be available.  The Schools are encouraged to consider alternative means for delivering instruction for those courses dependent on electricity, particularly our evening courses.  Offices are encouraged to remain open though availability of full services may be altered for Wednesday through Thursday morning.

The College will be assuring that dining will be available though menus may be modified and the Incident Management Team will continue to monitor the circumstances during the day on Wednesday.

There are some relevant personal preparation tips in the notice below; please use the next 24 hours to prepare to be without power per the PG&E notice regarding planned power outage.

Thanks in advance for your patience during this period,

Jane Camarillo
Incident Management Team


Update: Anticipation of Future Power Outages

6:11 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Dear Campus Colleagues,

The main Saint Mary's campus experienced a PG&E power outage at approximately 2:45 p.m. today which lasted for approximately 45 minutes.  It appears that the Rheem campus did maintain power for the duration of the outage. 

The California Independent Systems Operator (ISO) has called for a Flex Alert between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. tonight meaning that our area is asked to reduce and conserve power to avoid overloading the power grid.  If we exceed the capacity, there may be another power outage this evening.  Where possible for business, classes or events, please prepare for a possible outage.


We anticipate that for the upcoming weeks and months of summer,  we will likely experience additional power outages.  We have seen that the average outage due to high heat and high energy demand could range between 2 to 8 hours.  Alternatively, if we have an threat due to anticipated or actual fire danger in the area, PG&E could preventatively shut down power for a longer period of time.

To prepare for the likely power outages this summer, the Incident Management Team wanted to share this protocol that we would likely follow.

  • If we have a power outage due to high temperatures and high energy demand and that is anticipated to last at most between 6 to 8 hours, we will communicate that information to the campus community and share the anticipated duration.  
  • Depending on the time of day and heat, supervisors and managers would be asked to use their discretion as to whether to release non-essential staff while maintaining mission critical functions and remaining open for reduced business.  
  • Additionally, academic leadership would be asked to use their discretion to initiate alternate means to deliver classes if their classroom circumstances warrant it (given the loss of power, limited use of technology, or high heat).  
  • We will also, through partnership with Sodexo, set-up a cooling station in Dryden Hall with cold water available.  
  • Please be reminded that when there is a power loss in your building, VOIP phones (those formerly known as landlines on your desk and/or currently operated through your computer) will not be operating although they will be accepting voicemail.  [Emergency phones in elevators should remain operational.]  Please discuss with your colleagues how you will plan to make contact with them to confirm status of the office during the outage or status of classes and events during the outage.  This could include establishing a phone tree or a cell phone contact list.
  • The Incident Management Team will be sending out Live Safe alerts as we get credible information or direction on available resources for the campus during a fixed-time power outage.
  • For outages that are expected to run for a longer period of time beyond a high demand or high heat period (i.e. pre-emptive outage during a local fire event) and in excess of a 6 to 8 hour period, we will initiate actions to provide temporary power in key locations (e.g. Alioto Recreation Center) to provide extended support for residential community members or alternate work locations for mission critical functions.  Depending on the anticipated duration, we will further consider office closure or class alternatives or cancellation.  
  • To personally prepare for any level of power loss or major incident, please take time now to prepare your personal support or "Bug Out Bag" that includes essential resources for your personal use.

We ask that all managers, supervisors, academic leadership work through a plan now to continue to provide mission critical services  during anticipated power outages.  Please discuss with your Vice President or Vice Provost your business continuity plans and don't hesitate to let me or the Incident Management Team know how we might be of assistance. 

Jane Camarillo, Ph.D.
Incident Management Team
Vice Provost for Student Life
Saint Mary’s College of California

Update: Moraga Power Outage

4:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Dear Saint Mary's Community, 
At approximately 2:30 p.m., the campus experienced a power outage that impacted the Moraga area.  We are not aware of the specific cause but PG&E has restored power on campus.  You may still find some areas of outage of campus WIFI, internet, and landlines while our IT Services works to restore them all.  

This power outage will hopefully serve as a reminder to prepare your BOB (Bug Out Bag) with flashlights and solar chargers as well as water and snacks that could last the duration of a longer outage.  

Thank you for your patience during this power outage and thanks to our services like Public Safety, Facilities Services and IT Services and others who worked throughout to address areas of concern.

Jane Camarillo
Incident Management Team
Saint Mary's College of California


Update 4: Air Quality Alert: Campus Update regarding Classes & Offices

Nov. 18, 2018, 9:55 p.m.

Dear Saint Mary's Community,

This is an update primarily concerning graduate and professional students. We are continuing to monitor the conditions of the air quality on the campus and the forecast for AQI remains in the unhealthy red category for Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 19 and Nov.20, with a storm front arriving on Wednesday, Nov.21 expected to result in clearer air quality. 

Graduate and professional students are encouraged to refer to a communication from the dean of their school regarding the status of classes for Monday and Tuesday. Depending on your program, they will be seeking alternatives to in-person meetings where possible or cancellation to accommodate the concern for environmental conditions on campus. Again, please refer to the email from your school dean.

Campus offices will be open and operating on their regular schedule next week, November 19 to 21 and are closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Again, supervisors are encouraged to reduce outdoor activity where possible for their employees, and provide protective gear (N95 masks) when employees are required to be outdoors. Additionally, supervisors are asked to work with individual employees whose specific circumstances would be appropriate for a temporary modification of workplace. Please contact your HR liaison for questions and information. 

Please refer to the Athletics website for updates on competitions scheduled or cancelled for this week. Oliver Hall will offer its regular operational hours until Wednesday. For the Thanksgiving holiday, Oliver Hall will be closed after breakfast on Wednesday and re-open with dinner on Sunday, November 25.  

Thank you, 

Jane Camarillo
Incident Management Team


Update 3: Air Quality Alert: Campus Update regarding Classes & Offices

Nov. 16, 2018, 8:15 p.m.

Dear Saint Mary's Faculty and Staff,

As we continue to track weather and AQI projections for the coming days, indicators are not optimistic for improvement for Monday and Tuesday. Slight improvement is projected for Saturday; however, meteorologists are predicting a change of wind direction on Sunday, hence bringing smoke back into our area. The weather forecast for Wednesday and Thursday predicts rain and cleaner air. Given the concern for continued unhealthy air, the College is canceling undergraduate classes on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 19 and Nov. 20. Classes will resume their normal schedule on Monday, November 26. 
Of special note: Graduate classes will remain on their regular schedule for this weekend and next week. As stated earlier, it is projected that the AQI for Saturday will be improved. Graduate courses realize a significant impact when one class is missed since some courses meet only once a week. Several graduate students have questioned why undergraduate classes are not meeting while graduate classes continue. Undergraduates are on campus typically four to five days a week for class, and 1600 of those undergraduates live and eat on campus. The exposure to adverse air conditions on this campus is greater for undergraduates as compared to graduate students. We value and are deeply committed to the health and well-being of our undergraduate and graduate students, and are working to balance the costs and benefits to both with this action.

Campus offices will be open and operating on their regular schedule next week, November 19 to 21 and closed Thursday and Friday for the holiday.  For this weekend, the Alioto Recreation Center and Saint Albert Library will maintain their usual schedule.  Please refer to the Athletics site for updates on competitions scheduled or cancelled for this weekend.  Oliver Hall will have its regular operational hours until Wednesday.  For the Thanksgiving holiday, Oliver Hall will be closed after breakfast on Wednesday and re-open with dinner on Sunday, November 25. 

Supervisors are encouraged to reduce outdoor activity where possible for their employees, and provide gear (N95 masks) when employees are required to be outdoors. Additionally, supervisors are asked to work with individual employees whose specific circumstances would be appropriate for a temporary modification of workplace. Please contact your HR liaison for questions and information.

For faculty teaching graduate courses, we encourage when possible alternative contact including synchronous or asynchronous online contact, makeup days during finals week, or other alternatives that will best fit your course as you deem appropriate.


Update 2: Air Quality Alert: Campus Update regarding Classes & Offices

Nov. 15, 2018, 8:30 p.m.

Dear Saint Mary's Community:

This is an update on the status of our campus closure as of 8 p.m. Air quality projections remain the same for Friday. Campus offices will remain closed until Monday, Nov. 19, and undergraduate classes will be cancelled for Friday. 

Graduate classes for Friday and Saturday will meet as scheduled since the air quality is expected to improve over the weekend. However, faculty instructors for Friday/Saturday graduate classes can decide to cancel individual classes using their standard protocol for communicating with students.

The Alioto Recreation Center will remain open during regular hours as will Dining Services, Public Safety, and Health and Wellness. After hours, the Health and Wellness Center will have the Advice Nurse available by phone (925-631-4254).

The Saint Albert Library Service Desk will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. Reference staff will be available online from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Library will resume its regular weekend hours on Saturday.

For students, please remember to review the absence policy for your classes. Many have expressed the desire to leave campus early for the Thanksgiving holiday, so it's important to know if your attendance will be impacted. For students experiencing health impacts, we urge you to take advantage of this absence policy and to contact Student Disability Services (SDS) for academic resources if you can provide necessary documentation of your illness. Even if you do not have a chronic illness but have a temporary disability due to the adverse air quality, SDS may be able to assist you if you can provide the relevant documentation.

Saint Mary’s employees will not be expected to use vacation or sick leave for the closure of offices tomorrow. Additionally, supervisors should communicate with student workers so they are aware of office closures at the College.

Campus offices and classes will resume a regular schedule on Monday, November 19. We will continue to monitor the air quality and weather conditions throughout the weekend for any significant changes.


Air Quality Alert: Campus Update regarding Classes and Offices

Nov. 15, 2018, 1:15 p.m.

Dear SMC Community,

Due to poor air quality conditions today, Saint Mary’s College of California is cancelling classes and outdoor activities for the remainder of Thursday Nov. 15, effective at 1:15 p.m.  The Incident Management Team (IMT) has been tracking the air quality index, and today’s index is in the red zone, categorized as unhealthy and is projected to worsen as the day unfolds.  

Air quality conditions will be monitored and IMT will send out an update for Friday’s status for the campus at 11 p.m. on Thursday evening.

College Offices will also be closed with the exception of critical student services which will have normal business hours (Health and Wellness Center, Public Safety, Dining Services/Cafe Louis). The Library will be open until 7 p.m.  The Reference Desk staff will be available in person 5 p.m. and then remotely until 9 p.m. Please see the Library website for more information.

Supervisors of critical services please be mindful of postponing outdoor activity until the air quality improves.  Additionally, employees will not be required to use vacation/sick leave for this day.  

Students are encouraged to remain inside with doors and windows closed. If you must go outside, community members are advised to use protective N95 masks, which are available for students at the Health and Wellness Center, and for faculty and staff at the Facilities Services Building, Warehouse 6 (behind the Power Plant).  

The next update is planned for 11 p.m. this evening regarding the status of classes and campus for Friday.