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?
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:
Keep emergency phone numbers handy
A backup location where you can go
Make sure your energy company is aware of your medical device
Consider a safe backup power source, such as a generator or uninterruptible power supply
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:
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:
HIGH WINDS AND HIGH WIND GUSTS
LOW HUMIDITY LEVELS
that could serve as fuel for a wildfire
to electric infrastructure
by on-the-ground field experts
RED FLAG WARNING
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
- chhs.ca.gov –California Health and Human Services Public Safety Power Shutoff Reseource Guide
- ready.gov – Disaster preparedness information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- readyforwildfire.org – CAL FIRE’s wildfire preparedness website
- cpuc.ca.gov/wildfiresinfo – Information on the CPUC’s wildfire safety efforts
- caloes.ca.gov – California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services website
- cafiresafecouncil.org – California Fire Safe Council website
- noaa.gov – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website
- For more information on emergency notifications, visit caloes.ca.gov or for more on wireless emergency alerts, visit calalerts.org.