Power Outages and Your Emergency Plan
Pacific Gas & Electric, the largest power utility in the state of California, has been making headlines about deliberately scheduling power outages as a precaution against sparking wildfires in high-wind conditions.
Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program is an operational practice that SCE may use to preemptively shut off power in high fire risk areas to reduce risk during extreme and potentially dangerous weather conditions. These conditions would typically involve weather conditions such as relatively low humidity, strong winds, and hot temperatures in combination with dry fuels.
Because power outages can happen at any time, we strongly recommend that any Village resident who depends on electrical power due to a health issue register with SCE. Click here to apply for the Medical Baseline Allowance program; SCE automatically contacts program participants in the event of a Stage 3 Emergency rotating outage. This program also provides an additional 16.5 kWh per day to your normal baseline allocation.
SCE offers additional tips for creating a power outage emergency plan for those who depend on medical devices:
- Work with the hospital or medical company that supplied your life-support device to develop a backup plan. They may offer special services during an emergency.
- Contact your local fire department to see if they keep a list of customers with special medical needs.
- Keep emergency phone numbers handy, including your doctor and medical equipment company.
- Create a plan for leaving your home in the event of a lengthy outage and share this plan with you family and friends.
- Keep a fully charged smartphone or spare battery pack on hand.
Residents can log in to their SCE account here and enroll to receive outage alerts via email. To view current outage updates, visit the SCE Outage Center map and enter your address or zip code. Check the status of a scheduled maintenance outage here. Learn how to prepare for a power outage here. Per SCE’s mandate, residents should address all questions and concerns regarding the company’s work directly to the utility company. Visit sce.com or call SCE Customer Service at 800-655-4555.
Building an Outage Supply Kit
- First aid kit: In addition to the usual items, also include prescription medications—check the expiration dates
- Bottled water: Experts recommend a gallon per person per day
- Flashlights and batteries: Store them where you can easily find them—even when it’s dark
- Nonperishable food: Choose items that don’t require cooking or heating
- Manual can opener
- Coolers or ice chests: Have a few to store ice in case of a lengthy outage
- Special-needs items: This includes items for the elderly or the disabled
- Battery-operated radio: To access news reports
- Fresh batteries: For all battery-powered equipment
- External rechargeable battery pack: To charge cell phones and other electronic devices
- Non-cordless phone: To plug in during power outages
Home Preparation Checklist
- Keep important phone numbers by your landline phone or program them into your smartphone (fire department, paramedics, police, hospital, doctor, relatives, etc.)
- Place flashlights in handy locations, such as near the phone
- Install surge protectors to help safeguard electronic equipment
- Back up important work and files on your computer frequently
- Learn how to manually open your automatic garage doors or gates
- Keep the gas tank in at least one car half full at all times
- Identify an outdoor location where you can safely use your portable gas generator (if you have one) during a power outage—never use it indoors
- Make a safety preparedness plan for your family, including a list and location of the above items and a plan for how pets will be cared for
- Be prepared to meet the special needs of any infant, elderly, or disabled people in your household
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