California Health and Human Services

Power Lines

PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFFS – RESOURCE GUIDE

CALL TO ACTION:

We all have a responsibility to check on our family, friends, and neighbors, especially our elders, those with disabilities, and our children. If you are in a de-energization zone, please take a moment to check-in on each other, especially the most vulnerable among us. We are stronger together.

Our top priority at the Health and Human Services Agency is the health and well-being of the most vulnerable.

Older Californians, individuals with disabilities, and those with medical needs are extremely vulnerable. If they have to leave their homes, please remember a few things:

  • Be sure they bring their Durable Medical Equipment, if possible; 
  • Be sure they have their current medications, and a medication list; 
  • Be sure they have their medical equipment which needs power supply; and 
  • Be sure they have their dentures, eyeglasses, and any supplies need for multiple days.

NEW HOTLINE AVAILABLE

A nonemergency hotline has been established to help medically vulnerable Californians and health and community care facilities find resources in their communities during power shutoffs.

The hotline is (833) 284-3473.

During power shutoffs or potential power shutoffs, hotline assistance will be available 9:00am-9:00pm. Assistance is available in many languages. 711 Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) are available for individuals with hearing or speech related disabilities. You can find more information on 711 TRS.

TOOLKITS

Planning for People with Access and Functional Needs: Download the Personal Emergency Plan so that you can prepare and be ready in the event you lose power. Having a plan is important for any emergency. View the Personal Emergency Plan. The Personal Emergency Plan is also available in Spanish.

Emergency Supply Kit Guide: click here.

PRESCRIPTION DRUG GUIDE

If your prescription medications are low, get your refills prior to a public safety power shutoff, if possible. If you were unable to evacuate with your medications, a pharmacy should be able to assist you in obtaining your medication. 

To find an open pharmacy during an active emergency, visit www.RxOpen.org, which has maps that include open and closed pharmacies. In addition to locations of American Red Cross shelters and infusion centers.

View the Prescription Drug Guide.
Spanish Guía de medicamentos recetados.

HEALTH, PUBLIC HEALTH, AND COUNSELING

CRISIS COUNSELING

Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

SERVICES FOR SENIORS

The California Department of Aging contracts with and provides leadership and direction to Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) that coordinate a wide array of services to seniors and adults with disabilities. You can locate a AAA in your area by calling 1-800-510-2020; TTY 1-800-735-2929 or visit the AAA website.

SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

The California Department of Rehabilitation partners with a statewide network of Independent Living Centers (ILC) which provide services for people with disabilities. ILCs provide information and referral, peer counseling and support, individualized advocacy, and during emergency events can coordinate emergency preparedness, emergency assistive technology, and transition from temporary shelter. You can locate your local ILC on the Independent Living Center Directory or on the ILC Locator.

SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

During any emergency, regional center consumers, and their families, who need assistance can contact their service coordinator or call their regional center’s main phone number for assistance. Regional center staff members are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Find your local regional center online. For life-threatening emergencies, please call 911. If you cannot reach your regional center, a hotline has been established to assist.

The hotline is (833) 284-3473.

During power shutoffs or potential power shutoffs, hotline assistance will be available 9:00am-9:00pm. Assistance is available in many languages. 711 Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) are available for individuals with hearing or speech related disabilities. You can find more information on 711 TRS. You can also email help@dds.ca.gov for assistance.

IN-HOME SUPPORTIVE SERVICES

Recipients of In-Home Supportive Services (IHHS) may receive services from their provider (or from another enrolled provider) even if evacuated from their primary residence. Recipients and providers of In-Home Supportive Services with questions regarding services impacted by a disaster should contact your county IHSS worker. For a list of county IHSS offices, visit the website.

GUIDE ON PREPARING MEDICAL DEVICES THAT REQUIRE ELECTRICITY

For home medical device users it is important that devices work during a power outage and that you have a plan in place to ensure you know what to do. This completed booklet will help you have an established plan to obtain and organize your medical device information, take necessary actions so that you can continue to use your device, have the necessary supplies for the operation of your device, and know where to go or what to do during a power outage. For more information, visit the Food and Drug Administration’s website.

PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION

For information on public health concerns during a disaster, you can contact 916-650-6416 or visit the California Department of Public Health website.

SHARING HEALTH INFORMATION

The California Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII) developed the following resources related to sharing health information during a disaster which may be helpful to those concerned with sharing health information.

Question 1: Can health care information be shared in a severe disaster? In summary, it’s generally okay to share the information for treatment purposes, in making notifications to family and others about someone’s condition, location, or death if the provider finds it is in the patient’s best interest, if there is imminent danger, and for facility directories.

Question 2: Is the HIPAA Privacy Rule suspended during a national or public health emergency? No; however, the Secretary of U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) may waive certain provisions of the Rule under the Project Bioshield Act of 2004 (PL 108-276) and section 1135(b)(7) of the Social Security Act.

Question 3: Does Part 2 permit a healthcare provider to disclose information without consent when there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of an individual or the public? Part 2 permits the disclosure of information under certain circumstances without consent during a medical emergency or in other limited situations. If a Part 2 program (or a healthcare provider that has received Part 2 patient information) believes that there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of any individual, there are steps that the Part 2 program or healthcare provider can take in such a situation.

A more detailed response to these questions can be found in the FAQ.

INSURANCE AND REPLACING DOCUMENTS

BIRTH, DEATH, MARRIAGE, AND OTHER VITAL RECORDS

The California Department of Public Health is working with those who have lost vital records as a result of the disaster. Birth, death, and marriage records should be requested from the county recorder’s office in the county where the event occurred. For a list of county recorders, visit the CDPH website or you may call 916-445-2684; call 711 for Telecommunications Relay Services, or 1-800-735-2929 or visit 711 TRS.

LOST PRESCRIPTIONS, MEDICAL ID CARD, OUT OF PLAN COVERAGE

The California Department of Managed Health Care can assist individuals who are experiencing problems obtaining health care services by speeding up approvals for care, replacing lost prescription and ID cards, or arranging health care at other facilities if a hospital or doctor’s office is not available due to a disaster. Members should first contact their health plans, but if they have problems obtaining services or assistance from a plan, they can also contact the Department of Managed Health Care’s Help Center at 1-888-466-2219 or online at www.HealthHelp.ca.gov.

HEALTH CARE AND COVERAGE (MEDI-CAL)

Medi-Cal is a public health insurance program that provides comprehensive medical, dental and vision care coverage to low-income individuals, including families with children, seniors, persons with disabilities, pregnant women and low-income people with specific diseases, such as tuberculosis, breast cancer or HIV/AIDS. You can apply in person at your Local County Office, apply by phone at (800) 300-1506, or apply online at Covered California or California Benefits.

SHELTER AND HOUSING ASSISTANCE

EMERGENCY SHELTER

For emergency shelter information, contact the Red Cross.

CALWORKs HOMELESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

The CalWORKs Homeless Assistance Program is available to homeless families who are eligible for or receiving CalWORKs benefits. The program can provide financial assistance to pay for up to 16 days in a motel. To find out how to apply for assistance, contact your county. Find contact information here.

CALWORKs HOUSING SUPPORT PROGRAM

Most counties operate a CalWORKs Housing Support Program, which can offer homeless CalWORKs recipients a range of financial assistance including moving expenses, security and utility deposits, and rental subsidies. It also provides rental housing search assistance. To find out how to apply for the program, contact your county.

FOOD AND OTHER BASICS

CALFRESH

CalFresh provides ongoing food assistance to people with low-incomes through monthly benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card which can be used to purchase food at authorized grocery stores and farmer’s markets. If your food spoiled due to a power outage, you can request a replacement of your CalFresh Food benefits. You have at least 10 days after the food was lost to request the replacement; an extension to 30 days may be available. Contact your local county office for help. For assistance, call 1-877-847-3663 (FOOD) or come in/find an office at CalFreshFood.org. For more information in English, click here. For more information in Spanish, click here.

WOMEN, INFANTS, AND CHILDREN (WIC) SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION PROGRAM

The WIC program is available to pregnant women and young children regardless of immigration status. The WIC program helps low-to-moderate-income pregnant women, new mothers and their babies, and young children to eat well and stay healthy. WIC provides resources to buy healthy foods such as milk, juice, eggs, cheese, fruits, vegetables, baby foods and whole grains; Information about nutrition and health; Breastfeeding support and referrals to health care and community services. For more information, call 1-888-942-9675 or visit the WIC Program and click on “Find a Local WIC Agency” under Program Information.

FOOD BANKS

Food Banks throughout California can provide relief to families affected by the wildfires by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. Locate a food bank in your area.

CALWORKs

CalWORKs provides cash aid to eligible needy California families to help pay for housing, food, and other necessary expenses. If you are a “non-eligible immigrant” and not seeking CalWORKS benefits for yourself, you should be able to get assistance for your children if they are U.S. citizens or eligible immigrants. For more information about this program, visit the cash aid website or apply online at Benefits California. You may also contact your local county welfare/social services department.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CALIFORNIA OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES

The California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is responsible for overseeing and coordinating emergency preparedness, response, recovery and homeland security activities within the state of California. The Cal OES website includes information on how individuals and families can prepare for an emergency. For more information, visit Cal OES.

An accessible PDF of the Public Safety Power Shutoffs – Resource Guide is now available.

If you need the resource guide in an alternate format, please contact CHHSMAIL@chhs.ca.gov.

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