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SCE Prescribes Outage Preparedness for Medical Baseline Customers

Have a plan in place when heat-related service interruptions occur.
By Susan Cox

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Preparing for the occasional heat-related power outage can be a lifesaver. 

It’s especially important as summer temperatures climb to be prepared if you, or a full-time resident in your household, have a medical condition that depends on an electricity-powered life support device or equipment in your home.

For Medical Baseline customers, Southern California Edison recommends you always be prepared with an emergency plan and are ready to implement it in the event an unexpected outage or power reduction occurs to ensure your safety until electricity is restored.

“For customers who rely on medical equipment, we strongly urge them to always have a backup plan in place for unforeseen electrical emergencies,” said Kari Gardner, manager of Consumer Affairs for SCE.

“It’s also important that SCE customers enroll in our Medical Baseline program, which provides for additional energy per day at a lower rate and lets us know there is a fragile situation in the home so we can send alerts and notifications to these residents during outages.”

Those on Medical Baseline are allocated an additional 16.5 kilowatt-hours per day over their standard electricity usage to help offset the cost of greater electricity use resulting from their medical equipment or device.  

Extreme heat waves can cause strain on the electrical system as residents seek relief running their air conditioners, sometimes day and night. After several days of extreme high temperatures, that strain can build, causing equipment issues and sometimes lead to power outages.

To learn more about the Medical Baseline program, call 1-800-655-4555 or download the application.

Medical Equipment Tips:

Have a backup plan. This could mean a backup power system or other arrangements. Develop plans to leave your home in the event of a lengthy power outage if necessary. Share this plan with family, friends and others who should be aware.

Equipment backup. If your medical equipment is supplied by a hospital or a durable medical equipment company, work with them to develop an emergency or backup plan. Some companies may supply additional medical equipment and other services during emergency situations.

Get a kit. Every household needs a safety kit. Fill yours with fresh water, nonperishable food, a manual can opener, batteries, a flashlight, necessary medications and more.

Get on “special needs” lists. Contact your local fire department to learn whether they maintain a list of people with special medical needs. Being on this list may help them better respond to you during emergencies.

Emergency contacts. Keep emergency phone numbers handy. This includes your doctor, police, fire and durable medical equipment company (if applicable).

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