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The Power of Being Prepared

What is a Public Safety Power Shutoff?

In order to keep communities safe, your local energy company may need to turn off power during extreme weather or wildfire conditions. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff.


What can I do to prepare for a Public Safety Power Shutoff?

The effects of climate change are making California’s wildfire season longer and more intense, threatening our homes, our lives and our economy. That’s why it is important to prepare an emergency plan in advance in the event your family is affected by a power shutoff – or any other emergency.
  • Have a personal safety plan in place for every member of your household (including pets).
  • Plan for any medical needs like medications that need to be refrigerated or devices that require power.
  • Build or restock your emergency supply kit, including food, water, flashlights, a radio, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
  • Identify backup charging methods for phones.
  • Learn how to manually open your garage door.
  • If you own a backup generator, ensure it is ready to safely operate.
  • To learn more ways to prepare, download our fact sheet.

Be sure that you are familiar with all the applicable safety guidelines and manufacturer instructions for backup power sources or other emergency kit supplies. It is important not to put yourself or your family at risk by using these items improperly. Download our generator fact sheet to learn more.

What if I’m dependent on electricity for a medical device?

During a Public Safety Power Shutoff, ALL customers serviced by an affected power line will have their power shut off. If you rely on electric or battery-dependent medical technologies such as breathing machines, a power wheelchair or scooter, and home oxygen or dialysis, it is critical that you have a plan in place for an extended power outage.

Your plan should include the following:

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Keep emergency phone numbers handy

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A backup location where you can go

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Make sure your energy company is aware of your medical device

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Consider a safe backup power source, such as a generator or uninterruptible power supply

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Establish multiple people you can contact for help who know how to operate your equipment and backup systems

Residential customers who have special energy needs due to qualifying medical conditions should sign up for the Medical Baseline Program through their energy company. In addition to a lower rate on your monthly energy bill, this program can help by providing extra notifications in advance of a Public Safety Power Shutoff.

What can I expect if a Public Safety Power Shutoff is going to occur?

If a Public Safety Power Shutoff is needed due to extreme weather conditions, you can expect:

  • Early Warning Notification – Your energy company will aim to send customer alerts before shutting off power.
  • Ongoing Updates – Your energy company will provide ongoing updates through social media, local news outlets and their website.
  • Safety Inspections – After extreme weather has passed, your energy company will inspect the lines in affected areas before power is safely restored.
  • Power Restoration – Power outages could last multiple days depending on the severity of the weather and other factors. It is important that you and your family have an emergency preparedness plan in place.

When will a Public Safety Power Shutoff occur?

Every situation is unique. Your energy company makes the decision to turn off power by monitoring local fire danger conditions across California and taking into consideration a combination of weather and environmental factors. These may include, but are not limited to:

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that could serve as fuel for a wildfire

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to electric infrastructure

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by on-the-ground field experts

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declared by the National Weather Service

How long will it take before power is restored?

Power will remain out for as long as extreme and dangerous weather conditions pose a potential fire risk. After a Public Safety Power Shutoff event, your energy company will inspect and repair power lines and equipment so that power can be safely restored.

Depending on the severity of the weather and other factors, power outages could last several hours or multiple days – so it’s important you and your family have an emergency plan in place.

Additional Preparedness Resources

  • –California Health and Human Services Public Safety Power Shutoff Reseource Guide
  • – Disaster preparedness information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • – CAL FIRE’s wildfire preparedness website
  • – Information on the CPUC’s wildfire safety efforts
  • – California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services website
  • – California Fire Safe Council website
  • – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website
  • For more information on emergency notifications, visit  or for more on wireless emergency alerts, visit

To Learn More From Your Local Energy Company

Southern California Edison (SCE)
Visit | Phone: 1-800-655-4555 

San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E)
Visit | Phone: 1-800-411-7343

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
Visit | Phone: 1-866-743-6589