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State funds a portion of power shutoff response
Published on November 19, 2019The Placer County Office of Emergency Services has been allocated approximately $452,000 by the State of California to help respond to local impacts from the public safety power shutoffs. The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted today to sign an agreement with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to accept the funds and the conditions of their use.
The allocation is part of a one-time appropriation of $75 million to fund the Local Government Public Safety Power Shutoff Resiliency Program, which was established by the governor in response to the numerous power outages of October 2019. The grant is intended to support state and local government efforts to protect public safety, vulnerable populations and individuals, as well as improve resiliency in response to utility-led power shutoffs.
“I’m pleased to see the governor is taking a proactive approach toward planning for resiliency in the face of a growing number of PG&E power shutoffs,” said Board Chair Kirk Uhler. “My fear is that this is going to be a way of life until we address the root problem of hardening our electrical systems and properly managing our forest lands.”
The county will convene a working group consisting of city and county representatives to support the aims of the resiliency program. Placer County Office of Emergency Services Assistant Director Holly Powers said she will meet with city officials by the end of this year to begin planning efforts.
“The funding is restricted but can be used to provide generator power to essential facilities and develop redundant emergency communications,” said Powers. “The funding can also be utilized to develop contingency plans for electrical disruptions, including risk assessment for critical infrastructure and lifelines for vulnerable communities.”
Public education supporting family preparedness and one-time costs to equip public resource centers for use during power shutoffs are also eligible costs covered by the grant. The state money is intended to cover the county’s eligible program costs from July 1, 2019, through October of 2022.
Half of the state’s $75 million allocation will go to state agencies and departments to ensure continuity of operations and statewide public services, while the other half will be distributed to counties, incorporated cities and tribal governments.