SCE Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)
Preparing for a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)
In order to reduce the risk of wildfires, power utilities in Ventura County (Southern California Edison/PG&E) recently developed plans to shut down power during critical fire weather. During periods of extremely hot, dry, and/or windy weather, the Public Safety Power Shutoff Program (PSPS) can prompt multi-day power outages in many areas
A PSPS outage will last as long as the potentially dangerous weather conditions exist—plus the amount of time it takes for power company workers to inspect and repair their equipment in affected areas. Residents need to be prepared to endure a power outage lasting 3-5 days.
Actual frequency of PSPS events will depend on various weather and environmental factors, and each respective decision will be made with the most accurate assessment of situational awareness data and real-time information.
What does this mean for Ventura County residents?
Power outages deeply impact the whole community and can make it difficult for people to meet even their most basic needs. They may also present a wide range of additional challenges.
- Disruption of communications, water, air conditioning, and transportation
- Closure of retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, banks, ATMs, and more
- Food spoilage and water contamination
- Inability to use medical devices like oxygen concentrators, CPAP machines, and more
- Inability to use elevators, garage doors, electric gates and doors, and more
How can I prepare?
PSPS events and other power outages are never anything close to ideal. But you can take some smart steps to help make the outage experience more tolerable—and less stressful. Here are some helpful preparation tips and steps.
- Plan for any medical needs, like medications needing to be refrigerated or battery-dependent assistive technology and medical devices
- Build a Ready, Set, Go! emergency supply kit, including food, water, flashlights, a radio, fresh batteries, first-aid supplies, and cash
- Register with Southern California Edison or PG&E to receive up-to-date alerts. Login with your SCE.com User ID here.
- Sign up for Ventura County emergency alerts at VCAlert.org
- Identify backup charging methods for phones, such as USB power banks
- Learn how to manually open your garage door
- If you own a backup generator, make sure it’s safe to operate
- For additional PSPS resources, check out this fact sheet from prepareforpowerdown.com