Governor Announces Partnerships to Aid Vulnerable Residents During Blackouts

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new city partnerships that aim to protect California’s most medically vulnerable residents during power outages. 

Newsom, via a press release Sunday, announced an effort by multiple organizations working in tandem to provide healthcare, support and information to Californians during Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

Included among the state's most vulnerable residents are older Californians, individuals with disabilities and those with access and functional needs, according to the press release.

Among the new partnerships is a Public Safety Power Shutoff Planning Team within the California Health and Human Services Agency. The team includes leadership from the Departments of Public Health, Health Care Services, Social Services, Managed Health Care, Developmental Services, Rehabilitation and the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.

The team will work to ensure facilities that are licensed or certified by the state, such as dialysis centers, will be supported during power shutoffs, according to the governor's office.

Additionally, the CHHS has compiled a work group that includes the California State Association of Counties, the County Welfare Directors Association, the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, the California In-Home Supportive Services Consumer Alliance, Disability Rights California, the California Association of Area Agencies on Aging, United Domestic Workers and the Service Employees International Union.

This workgroup will ensure that in-home service providers are equipped with the information necessary to care for residents during power shutoffs and coordinate messaging and outreach to those who are dependent on life-saving medications and medical devices.

The California Health and Human Services Agency has also added new information and features to its website for residents to make use of, including a tool that allows individuals to create emergency plans in the event of a power shutoff and a resource guide.

"Power shutoffs continue to put California's most vulnerable residents at risk," Newsom said. "These proactive steps will help us protect medically vulnerable residents and ensure that there is a continuity of care for individuals in health and community care facilities across the state."

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