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What is a Public Safety Power Shutoff?

Your energy company may need to shut off power during extreme weather or wildfire conditions to keep the community safe. This is a Public Safety Power Shutoff, or PSPS.

How do I prepare for a
Public Safety Power Shutoff?

Severe weather, such as high winds, can cause trees or debris to damage equipment. If there is dry vegetation, this could lead to a wildfire. That’s why we may need to turn power off to keep you safe. This temporary outage is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).

Educating customers and providing resources to be prepared in advance of a Public Safety Power Shutoff or any power outage is important to SDG&E, SCE and PG&E.

What You Can Do Now:

Do you need electricity for a medical device?

If you rely on electric or battery-dependent medical devices such as breathing machines, a power wheelchair or scooter, home oxygen or dialysis, it is critical that you have a plan in place for an extended Public Safety Power Shutoff.

Your plan should include:

your plan should include Keeping emergency phone numbers handy

Emergency physical written phone numbers

your plan should include A backup location where you can go

A plan to get to a backup location

You plan should include Making sure your energy company is aware of your medical device

Alerting your energy company of any medical device that is dependent on electricity

Your plan should include Considering a safe backup power source, such as a generator or uninterruptible power supply

A backup power source, like a generator or other reliable power supply

Your plan should include establishing multiple people you can contact for help who can operate your equipment and backup systems

A list of contacts that can assist you and know how to operate your emergency equipment

Be Safe

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 happens during a
Public Safety Power Shutoff?

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, including:

PSPS Process

7-10 days ahead
Weather monitoring
2 days ahead
PSPS Potential communication begin
3-6 days ahead
Weather forecast refinement
Day of Power Shutoff
Continued communication with impacted groups
CRC(s) Open
Communication that CRC(s) is open
Safety Inspections
Confirm power lines are safe to energize
Power restored
Once Safe

Notifications (when possible)

~48 hours before power is turned off

~24 hours before power is turned off

~12 hours before power is turned off

1-4 hours before power is turned off

Initiation of the PSPS

Activation of CRC(s)

Safety inspections begin

Power restoration as needed

Once power has been restored

What Conditions Could Lead to a PSPS?

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. 

Your utility provider may initiate PSPS when the weather is forecasted to be so severe that people’s safety, lives, homes and businesses may be in danger of wildfires. As each weather situation is unique, your utility carefully reviews a combination of factors when deciding if power must be turned off. 

These may include, but are not limited to:

LOW HUMIDITY LEVELS

High Winds

HIGH WINDS AND HIGH WIND GUSTS

Red Flag

RED FLAG WARNING

declared by the National Weather Service

DRY VEGETATION

that could serve as fuel for a wildfire

REAL-TIME OBSERVATIONS

REAL-TIME OBSERVATIONS

by on-the-ground field experts

Community Resource Centers (CRC)

During PSPS outages, we open Community Resources Centers where customers can access resources and up-to-date information.

Locations

Available Resources

Community Resource Center

How long until power is restored?

Power will remain out for as long as extreme and dangerous weather conditions pose a potential fire risk. We know that it is difficult to be without power due to a Public Safety Power Shutoff, but your energy company will be actively inspecting and repairing power lines and equipment so that power can be safely restored as fast as possible.

Depending on the risk of causing more damage, the weather, and other factors, power outages could last several hours or multiple days – so it’s important to have an emergency plan in place.

Notification Timeline (when possible)

Outage Occurs
Access to Powerlines and Equipment (when safe)
Access and Repair Damage
Power Restored

Select your electric utility to learn more

Medical devices in your home?

Save money and get additional PSPS notifications

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Programs and resources available to support your preparation

Emergency Preparedness Checklist

Be ready for a PSPS