CalMatters: California Can Help Vulnerable Communities Prepare for Blackouts

California’s prolonged wildfire season and concerning drought conditions threaten to subject hundreds of thousands of residents to a new round of power blackouts if our state government doesn’t take meaningful action.

Since the devastating 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons, California utilities have frequently relied on public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) as a tool to reduce the risk of sparking wildfires. Unfortunately, these power blackouts impose tremendous costs to our local governments and residents.

During blackouts, local governments face many hurdles to providing essential emergency response and community services. Fire departments, police departments, food banks, cooling centers and many more require energy to provide necessary public services. Without this energy, emergencies will likely be met with slower response times, and vulnerable residents needing these services might be left in the dark.

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