Visit Napa Valley
Visit Napa Valley

Dry Season Toolkit

Visitor Impact of California's "Dry Season"
June - October

 

Visit Napa Valley is prepared to counter any negative consumer perception of visiting the Napa Valley in the summer and fall seasons due to the potential impact of wildfires, smoke, and possible power outages, even if incidents happen in other parts of the state.

We are using the term "Dry Season" in lieu of "Fire Season" to help consumers understand wildfires are not inevitable. Should Napa Valley be directly impacted, our goal is to ensure the tourism industry is primed for action.

Visit Napa Valley has created an online toolkit with general information, which will be updated should instances arise.

Industry Partners

  • Visit Napa Valley is working closely with Visit California whose research team continues to monitor visitor travel patterns. Visit California is also working with the legislature and has formed a collation with Oregon and Washington to proactively counteract negative perceptions.
    West Coast Travel Facts >
  • Three large utility companies, including PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric Company), San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, are coordinating a "Power of Being Prepared" media campaign to inform residents and visitors about public safety power shutoffs during "very high" or "extreme" fire threats during "dry season."
    Power of Being Prepared >
  • PG&E is adding approximately 1,300 weather stations by 2022 to provide improved awareness of fire danger conditions. Additionally, approximately 600 cameras will be installed by 2022 to enhance real-time monitoring across high fire-risk areas.
  • As a safety precaution, on extremely warm, windy days, PG&E's wildfire prevention program could result in local cities and towns in Napa Valley facing possible multi-day power shutoffs.
  • Before turning off power, PG&E, and other California-based utility companies, will send early-warning notifications (48 hours in advance, when possible) by phone, text alerts and emails to prepare residents, businesses and visitors of possible shutdowns. Websites and social media channels will also share information and provide regular updates to local news and radio outlets.
  • PG&E customers may update their contact information here:
    My Wildfire Alerts >
 

Visit California — Consumer Messaging

Public Safety Power Shutoffs:

  • Wildfires started by power lines in California the last two years have prompted public utilities to sometimes initiate public safety power shutoffs – temporary actions in targeted areas when weather conditions are deemed especially conducive to wildfires.
  • These public safety power shutoffs are precautionary, meant to increase safety for residents and visitors alike by lowering the likelihood of fire caused by power lines.
  • Many of California’s hotels, restaurants and attractions have back-up generators in place to provide electricity in the event of an outage and should operate normally when these situations occur.
  • Utilities strive to give public notice as much as 48 hours before a public safety power shutoff to help residents and businesses plan. The notices are transmitted widely through local news media, on social media accounts of utilities and directly to customers via text message.
  • If you think your hotel or other destination may be in an area subject to a public safety power shutoff, call ahead for more information.
  • If you are staying a private home rental in a wildfire-prone area, ask the owner to provide utility company information and a flashlight.

Visitor & Customer Talking Points

  • In the summer and early fall, Napa Valley typically experiences higher temperatures with little precipitation and occasional Diablo winds, making it a 'Dry' season.
  • The Napa Valley is open for business; all gateway airports, roads, accommodations and activities are welcoming visitors.
  • While California summers can be marked by wildfires, these fires are usually hundreds of miles away from tourism destinations.
  • Though media portrayals of destructive fires are often dramatic, in many cases, active wildfires play little to no part in disrupting a visitor's experience.
  • In 2018, less than one percent of the state of California was affected by wildfires.
  • In preparation for a potential power shutoff, it's recommended that residents and visitors have backup phone charging methods.
  • During the 'Dry' season, visitors planning a trip anywhere in California may check Visit California's website at VisitCalifornia.com or contact their hotel, as well as check VisitNapaValley.com for all pertinent updates.
  • Anyone sensitive to air quality impacts should consult real-time resources to determine if smoke levels in the state could impact their travel experience.
  • Our first concern is always the safety and well-being of our residents and visitors. California is a large state and wildfires in one location typically have no impact outside a limited area.

Suggested "Dos & Don'ts"

Do:
  • When referencing questions about wildfires, use the term 'Dry' season.
  • Use Social Media as a powerful visual tool to convey real time conditions.
  • Plan ahead for power disruption. Create back-up plans and customer messaging.
  • Consult with your business phone provider to determine how to forward calls in the event of a power outage.
  • Keep visitors/guests informed and updated. Post updates on your homepage, email confirmed guests, and use social media channels answer to some of these common questions:
    • Are you open or closed?
    • Do you have power?
    • Do you have back-up generators? And, if not, share what the guest experience will be if you remain open and welcoming guests.
    • Will refunds be provided to guests who cancel their reservations?
    • How should guests contact you?
  • Your Owned & Earned Channels:
    • We encourage you to communicate with your customers with accurate and positive outreach. Website, email and social channels can keep visitors updated on operating hours, as well as current experiences. We suggest you avoid details and imagery that perpetuates visitor safety concerns.

 

Don't:

  • Use the phrase "Fire Season."
  • Debate Climate Change or Fire Prevention Methods – instead, always defer to experts.
  • Displace guests without providing options, such as offering to make reservations at other properties, or providing gift certificates for future stays.
  • Display details and imagery that perpetuates visitor safety concerns. 

Background Reference Articles