Office of the Mayor

Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) on Oʻahu

The Hawaiian Electric Company’s (HECO) Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program is a method of wildfire prevention that involves temporarily turning off the power to certain high-risk areas during extreme and potentially dangerous weather conditions. Typically, those weather conditions involve strong winds, low humidity and very dry vegetation — all of which can elevate the risk of wildfire. 

In extreme weather conditions, HECO’s power lines are more susceptible to damage from wind and debris, and damaged lines can spark wildfires when humidity is low and vegetation is dry. By turning off the power in high-risk areas during extreme conditions, HECO is reducing the likelihood that a damaged power line will cause a wildfire. 

The decision to implement a PSPS is made by HECO, not by the City and County of Honolulu, and will only be made “as a last line of defense to help protect communities,” according to the utility. HECO customers can contact the utility directly by calling (808) 548-7311 on Oʻahu.

Quick PSPS Contacts:

How Does PSPS Impact Me?

HECO’s decision to implement a public safety power shutoff will result in the electricity being turned off for residents and businesses within certain geographic areas determined to be most at-risk. Depending on how long the dangerous weather conditions persist, these power outages could last anywhere between several hours and several days. 

The City and County of Honolulu encourages all residents and business owners that could be affected by a public safety power shutoff to have an emergency plan prepared and a disaster  supply kit ready to go — especially if you have urgent medical needs, including medical devices that would be impacted if the power was turned off.

File photo of the Waiʻanae Coast.

Which Neighborhoods Are Affected?

HECO has identified specific areas that have high wildfire risk that may be subject to a public safety power shutoff. In any of the areas in orange seen on the map below, HECO may decide to preemptively turn off the power during periods where severe weather conditions, including strong winds and dry vegetation, result in an increased risk for wildfires. A PSPS could impact the entire area or only selected segments depending on conditions.

Map, provided by HECO, showing the outage areas for a public safety power shutoff

Wildfires can happen in any place at any time, and residents across the island of Oʻahu — including those who live or work outside of the PSPS zones indicated on the map — are encouraged to help prevent wildfires. 

How Will I Know A PSPS Is Happening?

Hawaiian Electric customers will receive PSPS notifications via emails, phone calls, texts, social media updates, mobile app notifications and news releases. Local media outlets, including television and radio stations and newspapers, will also disseminate information after it has been released by HECO.  Once HECO has made the decision to implement a PSPS, the City and County of Honolulu will utilize the HNL.Info alert system and social media updates to notify residents.

How Can I Prepare?

The decision to implement a PSPS could happen quickly, with little or no notice, depending on the severity of weather conditions. Residents and business owners within the PSPS area should stay prepared by:

  • Making and updating your emergency plan, so that everyone in your household knows what to do in the event of a PSPS outage. Having an up-to-date emergency plan is especially important for anyone with urgent medical needs, including medical devices that require electricity to operate. 
  • Build an emergency kit — like you would for a hurricane or tsunami — that has enough non-perishable food, water and medication to last through an extended outage. Since gathering your belongings would be more difficult when the power is out, also make sure you have an evacuation go bag prepared in the event there is an emergency evacuation. Learn more about building your disaster supply kit and evacuation go bag here. 
  • If you or someone in your care has a condition that requires medication pumps or life support systems, or if your medications require refrigeration, contact your doctor or pharmacist on how to handle emergencies and power outages. Fill out HECO’s Medical Needs Communications Form to make sure the utility knows if anyone in your household is on life support or requires immediate care in the event of a power outage. 
  • Monitor weather conditions and be responsive to emergency notifications from HECO, the City and County of Honolulu and other emergency responders. Download the and/or HECO mobile apps and sign up for updates.

How Should Residents with Electric Medical Devices Prepare?

  • For households with a member who has a medical dependency on electricity, HECO recommends discussing power outage planning with your healthcare provider.  Additionally, these households should review and update their power outage plan, including planning for a temporary relocation out of the PSPS area if insufficient backup power options are available.
  • The Pacific Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act Center has published a useful checklist to support preparedness, which is available here.
  • HECO has additional resources available here.

Where Can I Learn More?

More information on the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program is available on HECO’s website:

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