With the height of fire season around the corner throughout California, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, in partnership with the 211 California Network, have ramped up their emergency preparedness support for customers in preparation for Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).
California’s two largest utility companies are partnering with 211 Care Coordination, which assists individuals with Access and Functional Needs (AFN) who live in high fire risk areas by creating a plan to connect them to local community-based organizations before PSPS outages. Organizations may assist with transportation and shelter, portable backup power, home meal delivery, bill assistance programs and other support.
Care Coordination is available for individuals with Access and Functional Needs who live in high fire risk areas. This includes those with various disabilities or chronic conditions, older adults and others who use medical equipment that requires electricity. Customers who are interested in services can call 211 or text “PSPS” to 211-211 before, during and after PSPS events to discuss assistance available to them.
“Our partnership with 211 and SCE brings communities and services together. We encourage customers to call 2-1-1 today to learn more about the resources and services available to them ahead of a potential PSPS or emergency. Now is the time to prepare,” said Marlene Santos, PG&E’s Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer.
California continues to experience drought, increased wildfire risk and a longer wildfire season. The combination of dry conditions with high winds will increase the risk of wildfires. Energy companies like SCE and PG&E have various programs in place to mitigate the possibility of wildfires caused by electrical equipment, like grid hardening, situational awareness and PSPS. While PSPS are a measure of last resort, they will still be a tool energy companies may need to use.
“We absolutely understand the hardship that any extended power outage, including PSPS, can cause our customers, particularly those with Access and Functional Needs,” said Lisa Cagnolatti, SCE senior vice president of Customer Service. “Our collaboration with the 211 California Network and PG&E offers meaningful support for these customers, helping them to prepare for potential emergencies and assisting with their critical needs if a shutoff is necessary to protect their community.”
To get connected and get help through the free, confidential referral hotline, dial 2-1-1. Customers can also log onto 211.org for more information. 211 is available 24/7 in more than 300 languages.
With 24-7 availability from trained specialists and a dedicated resource management team, 211 is a powerful resource for households. The 211 California Network is comprised of 13 contact centers throughout the state working together to connect the community to all available health and social service resources.