PSPS SERVICES NOW OFFERED BY TRI-COUNTY INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES
Tri-County Independent Living “TCIL” has partnered with California Foundation for Independent Living Centers “CFILC” and PG&E in their new pilot program Disability Disaster Access and Resource Centers “DDARC”. As a participant in this program, TCIL will serve people with disabilities in Humboldt and Trinity Counties by helping them prepare for Public Safety Power Shutoff “PSPS” events. The Disability Disaster Access & Resource Centers were established to ensure that disabled and older adults who use assistive technology or medical devices that require electricity can get the assistance and support they need during a Public Safety Power Shutoff “PSPS”. That could be a personalized preparedness plan that would be valuable in any type of disaster or emergency, a backup battery to keep their equipment going, a short-term hotel stay while the power is out, food or transportation support.
Funded by a grant from PG&E, TCIL can assist program applicants with all these types of services and others such as assistance with gas expenses to run a generator to run or charge medically necessary durable medical equipment “DME” like a Bipap, CPAP or oxygen concentrator or to recharge a scooter, power chair or cell phone. To apply for DDARC services, go to the DDARC online application at https://disabilitydisasteraccess.org/power-safety-shutoff-resources-application/ or call TCIL at (707) 445-8404 for assistance in completing the application.
The Disability Disaster Access & Resource Centers are working in collaboration with other community based organizations, utility companies, coalitions and other stakeholders to find solutions and prevent further disasters from disproportionately impacting those of us who are already living in the fringes of society and juggling our needs with limited resources.
As a DDARC, TCIL will also be campaigning to increase PG&E Medical Baseline Program participants, an underused PG&E program serving its customers who require electricity to power durable medical equipment of any type, including Bipap and CPAP machines or who need home temperature control for medical reasons. By enrolling all who require electricity to power medical devices in their home to participate in this program, PG&E will be better equipped to serve its customers who have emergency electrical needs by knowing who they are, where they are and what their needs are.
This program is open to all regardless of income. Program participants get a reduced electrical rate. Currently, no letter is needed from a medical practioner verifying the need for electricity. Applicants need only self-verify their need. To apply for this program, go to PG&E’s online Medical Baseline Program application at https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/save-energy-money/help-paying-your-bill/longer-term-assistance/medical-condition-related/medical-baseline-allowance/medical-baseline-covid19.page or call PG&E at 1(800) 743-5000. For Deaf/Hard of Hearing and customers who have a speech disability, call the California Relay Service at 7-1-1. Or, you can call TCIL at (707) 445-8404 for assistance with your application.
To establish and operate its new DDARC which will provide critical assistance, preparation and resources to empower customers with disabilities and older adults with Access and Functional Needs during PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shut Offs, TCIL welcomes Desirae Hadley as its new Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. Desirae brings extensive experience in disaster response and preparedness. In 2015, she co-founded a 100% volunteer run local non-profit organization, Pay It Forward Humboldt serving local wildfire evacuees and survivors.
Desirae states, “I am looking forward to applying my passion, connections and background in crisis management to this new opportunity. I know we will be able to continue to grow and expand our services offered within Humboldt, Trinity and Del Norte Counties to people of all ages, with varying levels of needs”.
Desirae will also guide people in applying for DDARC services, PG&E’s Medical Baseline Program and enrolling in the Disaster Alert System as needed. For assistance, Desirae can be reached at (707) 498-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of its Emergency Preparedness outreach, TCIL is currently offering free face masks, disposable gloves and hand sanitizer to people with disabilities at its Eureka office located at 139 5th Street, to keep people safe during COVID-19.