During Red Flag conditions, Southern California Edison (SCE) may issue a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), a preemptive deenergization of electrical circuits in an attempt to prevent power lines from starting a potential wildfire. While University officials are in regular communication with SCE representatives and have made every effort to ensure SCE understands Pepperdine’s normal operations and emergency plans, SCE has noted a PSPS could still result in the loss of power for a Pepperdine campus.
SCE has promised to notify impacted customers of a potential PSPS in advance, but there are circumstances in which SCE may provide little to no notice, such as a sudden change in weather conditions. This underscores the importance of preparing now for a possible PSPS. To do so, familiarize yourself with how Pepperdine will respond, including the safety advice below; make a plan; and consider what supplies you may need to keep on hand.
Overview of Pepperdine’s Plan
Pepperdine’s highest priority in any emergency is the safety of its campus community. Pepperdine will attempt to notify the community prior to a PSPS, and if one is activated, the University’s EOC will post updates at designated Power Outage Posting Locations and may also open up a shelter-in-place location to provide the community with a location to connect to the internet and recharge devices.
General Safety Advice:
- Switch off lights (except one to know when the power is restored). You can help prevent power surges damaging devices—including computers, stereos, televisions, bathroom appliances, and air conditioners—by unplugging them. After the electricity is restored, you can plug them in again.
- Have a battery-powered or solar powered radio.
- To avoid food spoilage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
- Never light fires, burn charcoal, or run a propane fueled device inside.
- If living in University student housing, do not light candles.
- If you see a downed power line, do not touch it. Call 911 immediately.
- Place flashlights in handy locations, such as near the phone.
- Install surge protectors to help safeguard electronic equipment.
- Frequently back up important work and files on your computer.
- Learn how to manually open your automatic garage doors or gates.
- Keep the gas tank in at least one car half full at all times.
- If you have a portable gas generator, identify an outdoor location where you can safely use it during a power outage—never use it indoors.
- Make a safety preparedness plan for your family, including a list and location of the above items and a plan for how pets will be cared for.
- Be prepared to meet the special needs of any infant, elderly, disabled person, and/or pets in your household.
- First aid kit: in addition to the usual items, also include prescription medications—check expiration dates
- Bottled water for your household for a week
- Flashlights and batteries: store them where you can easily find them—even when it’s dark
- Non-perishable food: choose items that don’t require cooking or heating
- Manual can opener
- Coolers or ice chests: have a few to store ice in case of a lengthy outage
- Special-needs items: this includes items for infants, the elderly, or the disabled
- Battery-operated radio: to access news reports
- Fresh batteries: for all battery-powered equipment
- External rechargeable battery pack: to charge cell phones and other electronic devices
- For a full list of supplies to consider for emergencies in general see the Personal Preparedness section.