For Information, call 211

Power Shutoff Readiness

Preparing for a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in Santa Barbara County

Local power utilities (Southern California Edison/PG&E) recently developed plans to shut down power during critical fire weather in order to reduce the risk of wildfires. The Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) could lead to multi-day power outages in many areas during periods of extremely hot, dry and/or windy weather.

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How long is a PSPS outage expected to last?

A PSPS outage will last as long as the potentially dangerous weather conditions exist, plus the amount of time it takes for power company workers to inspect and repair their equipment in the affected area(s). Residents need to be prepared to endure a power outage lasting 5-7 days.

What does this mean for Santa Barbara County residents?

Power outages impact the whole community and can make it difficult for people to meet their basic needs, as well as:

Disrupt communications (phone, Internet), water and sanitation services, air conditioning, security systems and transportation


Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, ATMs, banks and other services


Prevent the use of medical devices such as oxygen concentrators and other devices


Prevent the use of elevators, garage doors, electric gates and doors, etc.


Cause food spoilage

What can residents do to be prepared?

Ensuring you are prepared will help you to be more resilient and ready for an extended power outage. Read more about PSPS here.

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Plan for batteries to meet your needs

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5-days worth of non-perishable food and water

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Do your medications need to be refrigerated?

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Have an outage plan for your electronic medical devices

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Monitor the weather

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Check your landline works without power

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Keep cell phones charged and gas tanks full

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Have flashlights on hand and avoid using candles

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Install carbon monoxide detectors

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Ensure your pets needs are met

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Keep fridge and freezer doors closed

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Eat food from fridge first, freezer second, and non-perishable items last

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Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, no BBQs or generators indoors!

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Check on elderly neighbors and pets

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If you are able to leave, go to a location outside of the outage area

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Turn off and unplug electrical devices to avoid surge damage

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Avoid activities that could start a fire


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Keep emergency lines open. Only dial 9-1-1 if you are having an emergency

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When in doubt, throw it out!

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Discard refrigerated medicine after 24 hours unless otherwise advised by the label or your pharmacist

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Consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding new supplies of refrigerated medicine

To Learn More From Your Local Power Company About PSPS

Southern California Edison (SCE)
Visit sce.com/PSPS | Phone: 1-800-655-4555
Video of Community Meeting with SCE

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
Visit pge.com/wildfiresafety | Phone: 1-866-743-6589
Video of Community Meeting with PG&E

Additional Preparedness Resources

The County on Twitter

Be Radio Ready

Radio Ready

During an emergency when the power is out and when critical and timely information must get out to the general public, the County Office of Emergency Management will utilize satellite equipment to regularly communicate with designated County radio stations that have generators and can continue to broadcast. Visit this link for a list of stations to check if you lose power and cannot access the Internet.

Contact The County

105 E. Anapamu St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 211