• February 11, 2020

Los Angeles County allocates grant to support communities impacted by power shutoffs

Los Angeles County allocates grant to support communities impacted by power shutoffs

Los Angeles County allocates grant to support communities impacted by power shutoffs 1024 680 Supervisor Kathryn Barger

LOS ANGELES – Today, Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Shelia Kuehl introduced a motion unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors to reduce the threat of wildland fires caused by power lines. The motion allocates state grant funding to Los Angeles County to prepare for, respond to and potentially mitigate the impact of ongoing Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

“This funding is critically important to support our residents who are directly impacted by power safety shutoffs,” Supervisor Barger said. “Today’s effort is especially beneficial for vulnerable populations, including those with disabilities, those with access and functional needs, older adults, and medically-dependent individuals. With our residents’ safety at the forefront of our minds, we are committed allocating timely resources for our communities.”

“Power shutoffs in high risk fire areas can save lives and property, but turning off people’s power can also bring serious consequences for tens of thousands of people,” said Supervisor Kuehl. “This allocation of state funds to County departments will ensure that essential emergency and life-saving services for both people and their animals can continue uninterrupted even when SoCal Edison determines that the company must shut off a community’s power supply.”

During dangerous weather conditions, such as high winds, extreme heat and low humidity, utility companies may proactively turn off power in high fire risk areas to reduce the threat of wildfires. This exercise is known as Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) and can impact nearly 50,000 households and can include regions in the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys.

Last year, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) allocated nearly $3 million to Los Angeles County to support communities affected by power shutoffs. Today’s board motion directs L.A. County to distribute these funds to help departments prepare for and respond to ongoing shutoffs.

This includes:

Department of Animal Care and Control to support facilities and serve as pet-friendly cooling centers or evacuation centers for animals.

Los Angeles County Fire Department to support several fire stations with backup power.

Internal Services Department to help provide generators to community centers that serve as cooling center locations during extreme heat warnings, red flag warnings and power shutoffs.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk to support potential impacts should a power shutoff occur during the upcoming elections to ensure polling stations remain open.

Department of Public Health to fund Quick Connect technology for portable generator connections at six long-term facilities that provide life-sustaining care for those dependent on medical equipment.

Department of Public Works to operate critical health and safety infrastructure that is reliant on electrical power such as potable water and sewage pump facilities.

Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services to provide backup generators at cooling centers and to maintain home-delivered meal services to about 10,000 seniors each day.

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