Lights Out?

December 12, 2019
A Public Safety Power Shutoff To Do List
During extremely hot, dry and/or windy weather conditions, power companies may need to turn off power to prevent wildfires. Called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS or “de-energization”), it could last multiple days, up to 3-5 days.
How can I prepare for this? 
  • Plan for your medical needs including back-up power for electric medical devices and refrigerated medications, extra critical medications and copies of prescriptions. 
  • Update your contact information with your local power company to receive PSPS notifications. If you have an electric medical device, also sign-up with your utility’s Medical Baseline Program so they are aware of your medical device. 
Pacific Gas & Electric, (800) 866-743-6589
  • Purchase a hand crank or solar-powered radio to help you stay informed. For a list of radio stations broadcasting during emergencies, go to 
  • Plan for the needs of pets and livestock, including enough food, water and medications for multiple days. 
  • Prepare or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, non-perishable food, important documents, and cash. Do not use candles as they increase the risk of fire. 
  • Purchase back-up chargers for cell phones and keep your car gas tank full. 
  • If you own a generator, ensure it is ready to safely operate. Purchase a carbon monoxide detector to prevent unsafe exposure. 
  • Unplug or turn off electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and prevent fire hazards when power is restored. 
  • If you have an electric garage door, know how to manually open and close the door. 
  • Register for Aware & Prepare emergency alerts at or text your zip code to 888777 for Nixle notifications. 
What should I do during a PSPS? 
  • If a fire or other emergency occurs in your area, or if you feel that you are in danger, do not rely on emergency alerts to tell you when to evacuate. Emergency alerts may not work when the power is out. 
  • Talk to your neighbors. Check on elderly neighbors who may be especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures. 
  • Help keep emergency lines open. Only call 911 if you are experiencing an emergency. 
The above information is from the County of Santa Barbara. For more information please visit:  
 Submitted by Mark Rousseau