SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - More than a hundred people packed Earl Warren Showgrounds Thursday night for an open house put on by Southern California Edison to discuss Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
Last month during very dry and windy conditions, Edison alerted thousands on the South Coast that they could have their power shut off to prevent power lines from potentially sparking a wildfire.
Many were frustrated with gaps in communication, however. Some customers got contradictory messages, others no message at all. Others said Edison’s website and potential outage maps made it difficult to understand if they were in a potential shutoff zone or not.
“We’ve encountered some notification issues,” Southern California Edison spokesperson Rondi Guthrie said. “We’re working on enhancing our website. We’re working on enhancing our notification process. We’re working on enhancing the maps you’ll find online. All of these things will hopefully be rolled out within the next month or so.”
Edison works with local agencies including the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management. They say PSPS events are like any other emergency, and people should have an emergency kit and plan ready.
They also recommend those who need power for medical reasons call or email the Independent Living Resource Center in Santa Barbara to be ready for the next potential power shutoff.