February 3, 2020
Seniors and people with disabilities are the most likely to be injured or die in a power shut-off or fire. While California works on finding long-term solutions to these problems, caregivers like us must take extra precautions.
An important thing you can do right now is to get on your power company’s “Medical Baseline” list. Medical Baseline refers to those who are given allowances because they rely on life support equipment, have life-threatening illnesses, or compromised immune systems.
Being on the Medical Baseline list may save you money, but it can also save your or your client’s life: currently, power companies are using the Medical Baseline list as a guide to which customers may need advance or personalized notification such as door knocks in event of a power shut off.
As a union of caregivers, UDW is dedicated to protecting our members and clients during these events. We are advocating in Sacramento for better emergency planning and resources for the functional needs population—and for caregivers to be compensated for our time during evacuations and shut offs. We will keep you updated on any developments. In the meantime, please check your Medical Baseline status to help keep your client and family safer.
For more resources on public safety power shut-offs, visit this guide from the California Health and Human Services Agency: http://bit.ly/shutoff-resource-guide
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