Kern County residents, are experiencing the impact of Public Safety Power Shut Offs by Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison utility companies, implemented to prevent wildfires.
While these PSPS events are no more than an inconvenience for most, for Kern’s most medically vulnerable residents they are life-threatening.
During a PSPS event, individuals with access and functional needs lose their lifeline to medical devices such as CPAP breathing machines, oxygen concentrators, power wheelchairs, etc.— any device that requires a hard-wire power source or is operated by rechargeable batteries.
The AFN community is significant in Kern County. It includes people with disabilities, older adults and many other underrepresented communities. Overall, individuals with access and functional needs make up from 11% to 29% of our county population.
In response to this emerging and critical need, Independent Living Center of Kern County has launched a new initiative in partnership with California Foundation for Independent Living Centers to support our neighbors who rely on electricity to maintain their lives and daily needs. Our goal is to ensure that individuals who are dependent on electrical power are able to safely shelter in place during a PSPS event.
Is there someone you know who is medically dependent on power? IL-CKC wants to make sure individuals with medical or disability-related needs can apply for ILCKC resources during a PSPS.
Distribution of portable batteries to individuals who require electricity for disability or medical reasons during a PSPS. Priority goes to individuals with life-sustaining electrical needs.
PSPS/Emergency Education & Trainings to develop personalized disaster preparedness plans, evacuation strategies and disaster tool kits.
Enrollment in the Southern California Edison Medical Baseline Program.
Providing cost assistance to individuals needing transportation, lodging, and/or food during PSPS when a portable battery is not available or sufficient.
Learn more about accessing or applying for these services by calling ILCKC to set up personal PSPS/Emergency Education training.