Sacramento, CA – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cameron Moore, 916-612-1520
Communications and Marketing Manager, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC)
Sacramento, CA – September 26, 2020 – The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) has learned that 16 counties in California are currently under a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Watch. A PSPS event is likely to begin on Saturday, 9/26 and continue through Monday, 9/28. The weekend weather calls for high temperatures, strong winds, and dryness. Utility companies are monitoring the forecast and shutoffs may occur to reduce the threat of wildfires.
The CFILC Disability Disaster Access and Resources (DDAR) pilot program was launched with the support of PG&E, Anthem Blue Cross and American Red Cross to provide critical assistance and resources that work to empower customers with disabilities and older adults with Access and Functional Needs (AFN) to prepare and safely get through a disaster or emergency, including a PSPS event.
This groundbreaking disaster program is working in coordination with 20 local Disability Disaster Access& Resource Centers (DDARCs) associated with CFILC. The program enables the local centers to provide individuals who use electric assistive technology or medical devices support in developing a personal preparedness plan, disaster preparedness training, access to backup portable batteries, transportation, lodging and food resources. Centers also support in emergency and disaster alert system enrollment as well as the Medical Baseline that is offered by utility companies and is established to provide warning to those who utilize electric powered medical devices. Lastly, centers are providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to keep people safe during COVID-19.
As California continues to experience climate change which has produced a record number of wildfires and unintentional emergencies, the DDAR program is committed to the safety of people with disabilities, and the aging population, who rely on power for essential disability necessities. To date more than 1,500 individuals have enrolled in the program since its launch in early 2020. To apply for services visit: https://disabilitydisasteraccess.org.
“The DDAR program ensures people with disabilities and older adults with access and functional needs are prioritized, assisted in meaningful ways, and provided peer-to-peer readiness support for any type of emergency including a PSPS events, which we consider a significant emergency for people like us who rely on electricity as a part of our daily living needs. It is critical that we, as people with disabilities, are proactive and aware of how climate change is impacting our lives now and in the future. Whether it is a wildfire, earthquake, flood, or power outage, we need to be ready. Our safety and well-being depend on it. The Disability Disaster Access & Resource Centers were created to serve individuals with disabilities who need support and resources and want to be better prepared,” said Christina N. Mills, CFILC Executive Director.
To find the location of your local Disability Disaster Access & Resource Center download the resource center PDF.
To find PG&E’s list of the counties affected by the PSPS event, visit this shutoff announcement web page.
About the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC)
The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) registered 501(c)(3) non-profit Corporation that increases access and equal opportunity for people with disabilities by building the capacity of Independent Living Centers throughout California. To learn more, please visit: cfilc.org