Where was California when the lights went out?
As the old joke goes, for 800,000 California residents, "In the dark."
I've heard a lot of explanations for why this is happening. PG&E doesn't keep its rights-of-way up. California environmental regulations keep PG&E from effectively keeping their rights-of-way vegetation free. PG&E doesn't invest in modernization of their infrastructure. California green energy initiatives drain money from infrastructure maintenance. Blah, blah, blah.
I suspect that the answer is "D. All of the above." Plus a lot more I haven't heard.
Looking at the map, you have to notice that San Francisco and Sacramento are both spared blackouts. I guess nothing burns there. But the article also mentions portions of San Jose going dark, so maybe the titans of technology get to take it in the shorts. I'm betting on not, however.
No matter where you live, bad things can happen to you. A week-long power outage is a bad thing. You have to be ready. Just like in self defense, you are your own first responder.
Piteous stories of how people were caught unprepared coming in 3, 2, 1. Calls for Federal aid to follow.
Sympathy from this blog? Approaching zero.
Edit, 2058: Found this survival guide from the Sacramento Bee.