SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— With September being National Preparedness Month, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) announce a joint agreement with the 211 California Network, which will provide emergency preparedness support for customers during Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).
211 will serve as the network’s operator, directly connecting customers to local community-based organizations who provide assistance with transportation and shelter needs, portable backup power, home meal delivery, food replacement, bill assistance programs, and support for those who may have physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities. The service will be available to customers 24 hours-per-day during PSPS events, which occur when power is shut off temporarily to avoid the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
Through the 211 California Network, customers of California’s two largest utility companies will have the ability to call or text 211 during PSPS events to facilitate connections with local resources. The new agreement with 211 includes outreach to Access and Functional Need (AFN) populations, including those with physical, developmental or intellectual disabilities, chronic conditions or injuries, limited English proficiency, older adults, children, pregnant women and low income, homeless and/or transportation disadvantaged individuals.
“It is our commitment to not only identify and connect with members of the AFN community who we serve, but to provide information to help them plan for emergency situations and to facilitate access to resources that can help them navigate through challenging situations,” said Marlene Santos, PG&E executive vice president and chief customer officer.
When not aiding during PSPS, 211 will focus on outreach to at-risk customers, including those living in high-fire-risk areas who are eligible for income-qualified assistance programs and rely on life-sustaining medical equipment. The focus during these periods will be to evaluate these customers’ resiliency plans, connect them with existing programs that can help them prepare for outages and to assist them in completing applications for these programs.
“The 211 California Network is a powerful resource that considers all of our diverse customers’ unique needs,” said Jill Anderson, senior vice president of customer service for SCE. “For customers at risk of PSPS, particularly those with access and functional needs, 211 offers a toolkit that considers each customer holistically and helps to tailor a resiliency plan that works for them.”
The agreement with 211 will provide opportunities for customers throughout the state to have enhanced information awareness and resource availability. By expanding the 211 California Network, some community resources that were previously available in only select areas may now be accessible to those who they would have otherwise been unavailable to.
“The 211 California Network is excited to work with the utility companies to provide additional support to their customers,” said Interface 211 Community Information Officer, Kelly Brown. “This partnership with SCE and PG&E will expand our ability to connect customers to critical resources before, during, and after Public Safety Power Shutoffs.”
To get connected and get help through the free, confidential referral hotline, dial 2-1-1. Customers can also log onto 211.org for more information. 211 is available 24/7 in more than 300 languages.
With 24-7 availability from trained specialists and a dedicated resource management team, 211 is a powerful resource for households. The 211 California Network is comprised of 13 contact centers throughout the state working together to connect the community to all available health and social service resources.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE: EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of approximately 15 million via 5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.