As residents prepare for the upcoming fire season, the County of Santa Cruz is asking residents who depend on electricity for medical and mobility devices to be aware of the likelihood of extended power outages during certain weather conditions.
To help mitigate the risk of catastrophic forest fires, Pacific, Gas & Electric plans to proactively de-energize portions of the electricity grid during periods of high temperatures and extreme winds.
PG&E is warning Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) could last 1-2 days or longer than a week, depending on the severity of the weather event. Individuals relying on ventilators or respiratory devices, dialysis, feeding devices, motorized equipment, and refrigerated medication at all at risk during extended power outages.
To identify and help residents prepare for Public Safety Power Shutoffs, the County is asking residents who rely on such equipment to fill out a brief survey. The survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YRBCNZN.
Filling out the survey assures that County officials have accurate contact information for vulnerable residents should an extended power shutoff occur. Information will be kept confidential.
The County encourages impacted residents and their families to be prepared by keeping a list emergency phone numbers, securing alternative power supplies such as safe generators, and being prepared to relocate if necessary.
During an actual event, supplies and communications may be limited, and residents are encouraged to act now. Eligible residents are also encouraged to sign up for PG&E’s Medical Baseline Program.
During a Public Safety Power Shutoff event, some advanced notice is expected. The County Office of Emergency Services encourages people to sign up for emergency notifications by visiting http://www.scr911.org and following the prompts, or by downloading the CodeRed app.
For more on PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs, visit https://prepareforpowerdown.com.