POTENTIAL FOR SCE PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFF (PSPS) IN MALIBU DUE TO RED FLAG FIRE CONDITIONS WED, DEC. 2, 7PM THROUGH FRI, DEC. 4, 2PM
SCE notified the City on Wednesday, Dec. 2 that it is monitoring the Cuthbert Circuit in the City of Malibu for a potential PSPS, during a “Period of Concern” from Wednesday, Dec. 2, 7:00 PM through Friday, Dec. 4, 2:00 PM. The Cuthbert Circuit includes most of Point Dume from approximately Westward Beach Road eastward to Latigo Canyon, and extending inland about a half mile. See the circuit maps: https://www.malibucity.org/973/SCE-Circuit-Maps.
SCE provided the City with additional information about this event:
- This will be an extended, 3-day period of concern for some areas, which means that if a circuit is de-energized early on, it could remain shut down for that long.
- Some circuits have already been added on, then removed. Long events can result in circuits coming on and off SCE’s monitored list, which could result in multiple notifications.
- Though the forecasted wind speeds will not be as severe as Thanksgiving weekend, they are still near or above certain thresholds and will be a factor. Seeing forecasted speeds so close to the thresholds makes it more difficult to anticipate likelihood of shutdowns, so decisions will be made quickly based on the conditions of the moment if necessary.
- Fire weather concerns have increased throughout the SCE’s territory due to the lack of any significant precipitation and the prolonged recent period of low relative humidity. This will be a bigger factor now than it has been yet in 2020.
- SCE has stood up an Incident Management Team with extra resources in preparation for what is expected to be a very busy event.
- To see current SCE outages and to sign up for alerts about outages, visit SCE’s outage page: https://www.sce.com/outage-center.
- All current City emergency, weather and utility alerts are posted on the website Alerts page.
- Sign up for alerts on the website (scroll down to Alert Center).
WHAT IS A PSPS?
When the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts critical fire weather conditions -high winds, Santa Ana winds, high temperatures and low humidity Southern California Edison (SCE) may proactively shut down power in areas at high risk of wildfire, including Malibu, to prevent their equipment from starting fires. During a PSPS, power would be shut off on a circuit, which is an area of coverage. Malibu has several circuits, and residents can look up what circuit they live in on the City website. Once the threat has passed, SCE crews will inspect all electrical equipment (transformers, power poles, etc.) to ensure power can be safely restored, which can take 24 to 72 hours.
HOW ARE RESIDENTS NOTIFIED OF A PSPS?
SCE will attempt to directly notify all customers in the affected circuit area at least 48 hours in advance of a potential PSPS and again 24 hours in advance. SCE also notifies the City, and the City will put out messaging to the alert the community on multiple communications channels, including Disaster Notifications, Emergency and Utility Alerts, Nextdoor, social media and the City’s Emergency and Traffic phone hotline (310-456-9982).
For Disaster Notifications (like Reverse 911), the City has all cellphone numbers for the 90265 ZIP code, however residents can add, delete or change their contact information, including secondary phone numbers and emails, by visiting the Disaster Notification system portal and creating a profile. To sign up for Emergency Alerts and Utility Advisories, visit the City webpage. (scroll down to Alert Center).
HOW SHOULD YOU PREPARE FOR A PSPS OR OTHER POWER OUTAGE?
- Have battery-operated, solar-powered or handcrank flashlights and lanterns ready.
- Keep cash available in case ATMs or credit card machines are not operational.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full in case gas stations are unable to pump.
- Keep freezers & refrigerators closed. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours. Buy a couple of bags of ice and keep them in the refrigerator and freezer or in an additional cooler.
- Throw away food that was exposed to temps above 40°F for 2 hour or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
- If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that must be kept refrigerated, unless the label says otherwise.
- Never use a gas stove top or oven indoors to heat your home, it can release lethal carbon monoxide.
- Check in with elderly, disabled or vulnerable friends, family and neighbors to see if they need assistance.
- During a widespread power outage, cell phone, landline phone and internet service may be knocked out. Keep cell phones, laptops and tablets charged and have backup batteries charged.
- Whenever a PSPS is implemented, the City Hall phone line (310-456-2489) will be staffed 24 hours/day.
- Monitor news, weather, traffic and emergency information by listening to KBUU 99.1 FM and KNX AM-1070 and other local stations on a battery-powered, solar, hand-crank or car radio, which will continue to function when power is out.
- Individuals who are medically dependent on electricity should consider proactively staying in another area until conditions change and power is restored. Residents are encouraged to check on family members and neighbors who may need assistance.
- If you or someone in your household requires power for medical equipment, contact SCE at 800-447-6620 to add that information to your account and register for the Medical Baseline Program that provides an additional 16.5 kWh per day to your normal baseline electricity allocation, at: https://www.sce.com/residential/assistance/medical-baseline.
- Talk to your doctor to find out how long medications can be stored at higher temperatures, and get specific guidance for any critical medications.
PUBLIC SAFETY ACCESS
Make sure you can open your garage door or driveway gate if the power is out. Consider leaving driveway gates open to ensure you can get in and out of your property, and fire, paramedics or police can get to you when needed. See a video with instructions on how to manually open a garage door.
WHAT THE CITY IS DOING TO BE PREPARED AND HELP RESIDENTS PREPARE
ZERO POWER PLAN - During the Woolsey Fire, cell phone towers and powerlines were destroyed, knocking out power, cell phone, landline and internet service citywide, creating a dangerous situation and a serious challenge in getting emergency information out to the community. The City and Malibu CERT Team partnered on a series of up to 10 Emergency Supplies and Information Stations together with the Malibu CERT Team that can be set up along the length of the City at logical gathering places such as shopping centers, marked with flags. The stations have bulletin boards where printed information can be posted for the community.
ZERO POWER PLAN - The City recently purchased a large number of bullhorns and flashing light bars and Emergency vehicle identification placards so that City staff and volunteers can assist the Sheriff’s Dept. with evacuation efforts.
ZERO POWER PLAN - The City partnered with the Malibu CERT Team to get approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to install repeater antennas on high points in the Santa Monica Mountains which would allow handheld radios to be used over much greater distances. When power and communications are out, this will allow City staff CERT Team members to communicate during disasters, and to get updates and information to the Emergency Supplies and Information Stations for the community.
CUTHBERT CIRCUIT MAP