Many counties throughout the state are feeling the impacts of utility Public Safety Power Shut offs (PSPS), a strategy that utility companies are implementing to reduce wildfire threats. Power outages are an inconvenience to many of us, but they are particularly detrimental to low-income Californians, further limiting critical resources that are already scarce to this vulnerable group. Many are utilizing their limited incomes or accruing new debt by using credit cards to check into hotels, purchasing generators and backup batteries to power critical medical equipment, and accessing basic necessities. The Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) will share PSPS information to the network as soon as it is made available. As with any disaster or emergency impact on low-income communities, we encourage agencies to prepare for these events by having emergency preparedness and disaster response plans in place.

In 2019, CSD formed a new workgroup, the Disaster Workgroup, to design improvements to CSD’s disaster response plans, further develop policies and procedures, and provide insight to strengthen the networks’ capacity to manage crises. The workgroup meets via conference call, with the next call scheduled in December 2019. For more information on the Disaster Workgroup and to review past meeting minutes, visit CSD’s Provider Website or contact your CSD Field Representative.