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October 22, 2019 – While it is understood that PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) measures are intended to protect communities from the threat of equipment-related wildfires, Nevada County Public Health recognizes that these measures may cause other negative public health and safety threats, especially to those who rely on power for life-sustaining equipment, treatments and mobility and those with chronic medical conditions.
A PSPS could lead to the following:
- Inability to use medical devices such as oxygen concentrators, nebulizers, ventilators, and other devices
- Medication and/or food spoilage
- Disrupted communications, water access, and heating and air conditioning
- Closed businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations and banks
Inability to use electronic gates or garage doors
Please consider the following prior to the PSPS if the circumstance apply to you.
- Take inventory of items you need that rely on electricity.
- If you have medication that requires refrigeration, have a plan for appropriate storage in the event of a PSPS. If you are unsure about what this may mean, please contact your pharmacist.
- If you have essential medical equipment that requires electricity, either have a plan to relocate temporarily to a location that still has power, have a safe backup power source, or plan to use one of PG&E’s Community Resource Centers, which are open during daylight hours.
- Stock up on batteries, flashlights, and nonperishable foods.
- Have a back-up charging device if you are able.
- If you are on a well and you lose water when you lose power, then store plenty of water for drinking, cleaning and flushing.
- Keep your car fueled up, and if you have an electronic garage door opener, don’t park in your garage unless you can easily open your garage door manually.
Lastly, we encourage everyone to watch out for your family, friends and neighbors. Reach out to friends and family who you think may need additional information or support. Additional resources:
• Planning in advance for a PSPS: https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/outage-readiness.page
• Preparing for a Power Down: https://prepareforpowerdown.com/
• Food Safety During a Power Outage: https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/food-safety-during-power-outage