Hawaiian Electric launches new searchable maps for Public Safety Power Shutoff program

Release Date: 7/1/2024

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HONOLULU, July 1, 2024 – Hawaiian Electric customers can now use a new online search feature to determine if their address is within the high-risk wildfire areas within the company’s Public Safety Power Shutoff program (PSPS.) The new search feature can be found on the company’s website at: hawaiianelectric.com/pspsmaps.

In a PSPS, to help keep the public safe, Hawaiian Electric will preemptively shut off power to high-risk areas in the event of extreme weather conditions. Customers are urged to prepare for emergencies and the possibility of extended power outages during periods of high winds and dry conditions.

“These improved maps were among the most requested features that came up during our meetings with communities to talk about the PSPS program, so we worked hard to provide it as soon as possible. We hope this new search feature will help people make their own preparations,” said Jim Kelly, Hawaiian Electric vice president, government and community relations and corporate communications.

The searchable map will display results for addresses so a customer can determine if they are located in or nearby areas covered by the PSPS program. Due to the unpredictable nature of the weather and other hazardous conditions, Hawaiian Electric advises customers who are near a PSPS zone to also make preparations.

The company is continuing to make refinements to the online maps and while it has made every effort at accuracy, it’s possible the borders of some PSPS areas are not exact.

“Anyone who is close to a PSPS area on the map should play it safe and be prepared, even though their address may not be included,” Kelly said.

These initial areas identified as high risk have a combination of risk factors for wildfires, including exposure to strong winds, dry conditions, vegetation prone to wildfires, and historically higher rates of wildfires. Over time, Hawaiian Electric will expand this program to all high-risk areas on the islands that it serves. For more information and maps, call Hawaiian Electric’s PSPS hotline at 1-844-483-8666 toll-free or go to hawaiianelectric.com/PSPS.

A PSPS will only be activated in an area if weather data, including statements from the National Weather Service, indicate conditions for heightened wildfire risk. These conditions may include strong winds, low humidity and dry vegetation. Combined, these factors can result in downed trees or flying debris contacting power lines and damaging electrical infrastructure, which can create the risk of wildfires.

Before activating a PSPS, Hawaiian Electric will notify the public and coordinate with government officials, first responders and emergency response agencies. Hawaiian Electric will provide public notifications through news releases, social media, online outage maps and updates to its website. If weather conditions change suddenly, shutoff may occur with little or no notice.

During a PSPS activation, power will remain shut off so long as hazardous weather conditions persist. When the weather improves, power lines must be inspected and any damage must be repaired before service can be restored. This may involve ground crews and aerial inspections using helicopters and drones. This process may result in extended outages lasting several hours, possibly even days depending on the location and extent of any damage.

Shutting off power, even to reduce wildfire risks, has broad impacts across the community. Hawaiian Electric has coordinated with stakeholders from across government and the private sector, including emergency response agencies, government officials, essential service providers and businesses, to ensure public awareness and safety during a PSPS activation.

Customers on life support with special medical needs are urged to prepare now for the possibility of extended power outages. Hawaiian Electric asks those customers to provide their contact information to receive future notifications in advance of a PSPS by submitting an online Medical Needs Communications Form at hawaiianelectric.com/PSPS.