Public Safety Power Shutoff Annex for California County Offices of Education
This planning document outlines planning objectives and procedures to provide guidance for county offices of education (COEs), their member school districts, and coordination with COEs’ regional partners in the event of a planned power outage (de energization of electrical systems), also known as a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). This is a supporting document or annex to existing CCSESA Emergency Recovery Guide for California County Offices of Education, and the CCSESA Technology Steering Committee Information Technology Disaster Recovery Plan.
California has experienced unprecedented wildfire activity in recent years. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted de-energization guidelines on June 4, 2018, authorizing Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) to improve community safety by allowing PG&E and SCE to de-energize portions of their electrical systems in cases of significant fire threat. The threat of a PSPS will continue until the PG&E and SCE transmission and distribution grid can be “hardened.”
Unlike natural disasters that provide no advance notice, PSPSs are intended to include a notification timeline since the energy companies monitor the qualifying PSPS triggers (Red Flag warning, humidity levels, winds, fuels, real-time observations). A PSPS can last from hours to consecutive days depending on the severity of the triggers.
Prepare for a PSPS by identifying and establishing key communication contacts before an event. During large scale events, COE/district leadership will rely on the energy company and the county office of emergency services (OES) for accurate, sound information during the PSPS. A COE/district should not post/communicate PSPS information that is inconsistent with the county office of emergency services and local power provider public messaging.