Access and Functional Needs (AFN) Community

List of actions the guidelines direct the electric utilities to take during a PSPS event for the Access and Functional Needs (AFN) population:

  • Set up Working Groups and Advisory Boards and coordinate in PSPS planning that include representatives of AFN and vulnerable communities.
  • Include AFN representatives in development of communication and notification plans.
  • Develop communications in the language preferred by the customer when reasonably possible.
  • Develop alternative communication formats for people with disabilities who may not be able to use standard forms of communication (e.g. deaf, blind).
  • Finalize a Community Resource Center (CRC) plan with consultation of AFN representatives, including tribal representatives and senior citizen groups, Community Based Organizations (CBO), and public health and healthcare providers. Plans shall be based on local demographic data for meeting a variety of safety needs for AFN and vulnerable populations.
  • CRC locations shall be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible to meet needs of disabled people, people with other AFN needs, and medical baseline customers and provide device charging stations capable of powering medical devices. 
  • Identify, above and beyond those in the medical baseline population, households that self-identify to receive an in-person visit prior to disconnection for nonpayment or receive utility communications in a non-standard format or self-identify as having a person with a disability in the household, to help provide support for those with medical needs during a de-energization event.
  • Collaborate with AFN representatives to identify assistance (including evacuation plans) required by current and potentially eligible medical baseline customers during de-energization events.
  • Provide an AFN plan to the CPUC with quarterly updates.
  • Provide upon request medical baseline and critical facility customer information to local and tribal governments for the sole purpose of protecting the safety and welfare of those customers before, during, and after PSPS events.
  • Include the transportation sector in the list of critical facilities and infrastructure to ensure transportation resilience is a priority during de-energization events. AFN individuals disproportionately rely on transit and other transportation service providers and require these services to reach CRCs.

Government Code 8593.3 defines “access and functional needs population” as individuals who have the following conditions: Developmental or intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, chronic conditions, injuries, limited English proficiency or who are non-English speaking, older adults, children, people living in institutionalized settings, those who are low income, homeless, transportation disadvantaged, including those who are dependent on public transit, those who are pregnant.  The CPUC and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services have adopted this definition as well.


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