Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS)
Southern California Edison (SCE) understands that PSPS events significantly impact customers’ daily lives and create hardships for our customers and communities.
SCE’s number one priority is the safety of customers, employees and communities, and that is why PSPS events remain a part of wildfire risk mitigation efforts. If SCE is forced to shut off power to protect the public every attempt is made to reduce the number of customers affected and the length of the outage and turn power on as soon as it is safe to do so.
Conditions that Warrant PSPS events
Strong winds, combined with dry ground conditions mean certain areas are receptive to wildfires. SCE does not shut off power based only on weather forecasts, but rather, based on actual conditions observed in the affected areas.
SCE crews conduct pre-patrols on circuits in the affected areas in anticipation of a wind event, and have plans in place to minimize the number of customers affected, should conditions warrant a shutoff. In addition to real-time weather monitoring, SCE crews will actively patrol circuits during PSPS conditions to provide additional information regarding actual conditions on the ground.
Should a shutoff be necessary, SCE will attempt to restore power to customers as soon as it is safe to do so after the weather event ends, and after crews inspect the lines and determine it is safe to re-energize. Typical restoration times, for PSPS outages, range from 3-8 hours after the circuit is cleared for inspection, however, if damage is found on the circuit or if there are delays in inspection due to the need for helicopter or foot patrols in hard-to-access areas, restoration can be delayed.
Customers can use an online, interactive map on sce.com/PSPS, to see if their community is being monitored for a potential shutoff, or if their area is de-energized. Customers can enter their address to see their information.
Additional Measures Taken
In order to reduce the number of customers affected by potential shutoffs, SCE may switch some customers to adjacent circuits not forecast to be affected by the winds, where it is safe to do so. In some instances switching can move all customers from an affected circuit or may allow for at least a portion of customers to be connected to another circuit for the duration of the PSPS conditions.
In some cases, customers might experience a short outage of up to 10 minutes duration. These switching outages allow SCE to move customers between circuits, in order to reduce the number of customers who may experience a longer shutoff.
SCE wants you to be prepared for a Public Safety Power Shutoff. Customers can sign up for alerts by calling (800) 655-4555 or by visiting https://www.sce.com/safety/wildfire/psps/psps-alerts.
Weather and other factors may change where and for how long customers are impacted. SCE updates the site with near-real-time circuit status during PSPS events, though there can at times be a lag in the information presented. While SCE makes every attempt to alert customers in advance, in situations where the weather forecasts shift suddenly, we may not be able to provide advance notice.
There may be outages strictly related to weather and high winds, unrelated to a PSPS. Customers may report or inquire about outages at (800) 611-1911. For information on non-PSPS outages, customers can also check sce.com/outages.
Power Outage and High Winds Safety Tips
- If you see a downed power line, do not touch it or anything in contact with it. Call 911 immediately
- Power outages in the area may impact traffic signals, so motorists should use extreme caution and treat all intersections as four-way stops during an outage.
- If you are in a vehicle with a fallen power line on it, remain calm and stay in the vehicle until help arrives. It is okay to use your cellphone to call 911. If you must leave the vehicle, remember to exit away from downed power lines and exit by jumping from the vehicle and landing with both feet together. You must not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Proceed away from the vehicle by shuffling and not picking up your feet until you are several yards away.
- Remember to check emergency supplies, to be sure you have a battery-operated radio, a flashlight and fresh batteries.
- Use flashlights instead of candles to avoid fire hazards in your home or business.
- Remember to secure any temporary structures in your backyard or business, including backyard furniture and tents, as well as patio equipment and covers used in commercial settings.