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Southern California Edison Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Events

Post Date:10/29/2019

Please be advised that due to weather conditions that may create the potential for elevated fire risk, Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events are under consideration in parts of the Southern California Edison (SCE) service territory. Please visit SCE’s website sce.com/psps for up-to-date information, as well as signing up or updating your contact information to receive alerts about PSPS events and other outages in your area. Questions can be directed to Southern California Edison Customer Service at 800-655-4555.

Frequently Asked Questions from SCE’s website:

1. What is a Public Safety Power Shutoff?

The threat of wildfires in California is real and growing. One of the ways SCE is reducing wildfire risks is Public Safety Power Shutoffs. During these events, we may need to proactively shut off power temporarily as a result of elevated weather conditions — such as strong winds, high temperatures and dry vegetation — that can cause a power line to fall and spark, possibly creating a wildfire. PSPS events are temporary and are meant to keep you and your community safe.

While it is difficult to predict how often elevated weather conditions may occur, the threat of wildfires in California is real and growing. Californians need to be prepared with a plan and have an emergency kit. SCE customers can update their contact information and find helpful safety tips at sce.com/BePrepared.

2. Under what conditions will SCE call a PSPS?

Elevated weather conditions can cause vegetation or other items to be blown into power lines possibly creating a wildfire. Under these situations, we may temporarily shut off power to customers to keep you and your community safe. SCE considers a number of factors and conditions before declaring a PSPS. These include, but are not limited to:
• High winds (including Red Flag Warnings declared by the National Weather Service)
• Low humidity
• Dry vegetation that could serve as fuel
• On-the-ground observations
• Fire threat to electric infrastructure
• Public safety risk

3. Who makes the decision to do a PSPS?

Each utility determines when a PSPS is called and how it will be implemented. California’s three largest investor owned utilities, at the direction of the California Public Utilities Commission, are coordinating to prepare all Californians for the threat of wildfires and power outages during times of extreme weather. Find more information about this statewide effort at: prepareforpowerdown.com.

4. Who will be impacted by PSPS?

Customers who live in high fire risk areas as defined by the California Public Utilities Commission are more likely to experience a PSPS. However, customers who do not live in these high fire risk areas may also be impacted because of how the electrical grid is interconnected. SCE has a network of circuits providing power to 15 million people within a 50,000-square-mile area of central, coastal and Southern California. Anyone in California could be impacted by emergency events such as PSPS and need to be prepared with a plan.

SCE customers should update their contact information and sign up for PSPS alerts at: sce.com/OutageAlerts.

5. What about customers who rely on medical equipment for their health and safety?

We engage and identify critical care customers on an ongoing basis well before a PSPS. Power outages also happen in our service area unrelated to a PSPS, so customers need to be prepared to ensure medical equipment will still run during an outage. We encourage our critical care customers to have a backup plan now. Customers with special medical equipment should ensure that we have their most up-to-date contact information so we can notify them of a power shutoff. For more information: sce.com/MedicalBaseline.

Note: Critical care customers are a subset of customers called “medical baseline” customers. Medical baseline customers may have medical equipment, but not all of that equipment is critical, life-saving equipment.

6. How we communicate before, during and after a PSPS.

We intend to notify affected customers approximately two days in advance of a potential power shutoff. This notification will be via email, text or phone call. We may also send another notice to customers about one day before a potential power shutoff. We will keep customers updated regularly on our website and social media channels. We will also notify affected customers when power has been restored. SCE customers can sign up for PSPS alerts at: sce.com/OutageAlerts.

7. Does SCE coordinate with local governments and first responders before and during a PSPS event?

In advance of PSPS events, SCE will meet with local governments, emergency management community and first responders to inform them about the PSPS protocol, including the location of circuits in their jurisdictions which may be shut off during a PSPS.

8. How long will it take for my power to be restored after a PSPS event?

A PSPS event will last as long as the dangerous fire weather conditions exist. If circuits are shut off, those circuits and lines will be inspected to ensure there are no problems that might create a danger before power can be safely restored. SCE crews will need to visually inspect the power lines during daylight hours so operations may be limited during overnight hours.

Customers should be prepared to be without power for an extended period of time during a PSPS. Customers should prepare emergency plans now.

9. Will there be rotating outages during a PSPS?

System reliability may be impacted during a rare, wider scale PSPS event and could result in rotating outages. Customers could be without power for an extended period of time and should take steps now to be prepared. Find preparedness tips at: sce.com/BePrepared or readyforwildfire.org.

10. What other steps is SCE taking to reduce wildfire risk?

Turning off power during elevated weather events is just one component of SCE’s Wildfire Mitigation Plan. We continue to reduce the risk of electrical equipment igniting wildfires, going beyond industry practices to address the new conditions we are facing. We’ve implemented a variety of technologies for advanced fire safety, including installation of new high-definition cameras, weather stations and miles of insulated power lines. We are also expanding operational practices such as enhanced overhead inspections, vegetation management and emergency response protocols.

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