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Public Safety Power Shutdowns could lead to multi-day outages

More batteries may be needed in emergency kits

Public Safety Power Shutdowns could lead to multi-day outages

GOLETA, Calif. - Recent Ridgecrest area earthquakes have encouraged Californians to build or re-stock emergency supply kits.

Santa Barbara County's Emergency Manager Brian Uhl said people stocking up should consider Public Safety Power Shutdowns (or PSPS) that could lead to multi-day outages.

"That is the power company deciding it is necessary to shut off the power in certain circumstances when we have periods of fire weather, so if that happens there is potential for the power to be shut off for up to 5 days, possibly longer, depending on the forecast," said Uhl, outside the Office of Emergency Management.

Next month the county will release a multi-day power outage preparedness list.

The list includes taking inventory of the items you have or need that rely on electricity.

"I always think that my batteries are good to go, and I always find that there is something wrong, so plan for things to go wrong. Your batteries aren't going to work, so have multiple backup batteries,"said Uhl.

Southern California Edison has a list that recommends having flashlights, radios, special batteries for medical needs and back up chargers for phones.

Other experts recommend have an emergency kit with a lid that you can carry. 

Bob Gonzales was shopping in the new Miner's ACE Hardware store in Goleta when he said, "Our son provided them for us, one in each car and a big one."  

Assistant store manager Will Sparrow said it's important to remember generators need fuel.

People who have them or buy new ones need to make sure they are used safely.

"I would recommend one of the larger units so you can run your home appliances like your refrigerator, said Sparrow as he stocked shelves for the grand opening on August 11. 

Southern Cal Edison has a https://prepareforpowerdown.com website to help people help themselves.

The county has https://ready SBC.org

Uhl said the county will have community meetings in August when it released multi-day power outage information.


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