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Utility Partnership With 211 Enhances Support During PSPS Outages

July 5, 2022
Utility companies are doing this 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.

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 doing this 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.

“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, senior vice president of customer service, SCE . “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.”

California continues to experience drought, increased wildfire risk and a longer wildfire season. The combination of dry conditions with high winds can increase the risk of wildfires. Energy companies like SCE and PG&E have many 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.

“Our partnership with 211 and SCE brings communities and services together. We encourage customers to call 211 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,  executive vice president and chief customer officer, PG&E.

To connect and get help through the free, confidential referral hotline, dial 211 or text “PSPS” to 211-211. 211 is available 24/7 in more than 300 languages.

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