Humboldt County Office of Education Press Release:
Humboldt County school sites will no longer be in the dark during local power outages thanks to a state grant and coordination between the Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) and the Office of the Humboldt County Sheriff (HCSO). Ninety 7,500-watt generators arrived this week and are being provided free to local schools, paid for through the Public Safety Blackout Grant.
Efforts to secure the generators began following PG&E’s public safety power cuts in 2019. During these power outages, school districts suffered financial losses associated with spoiled food products and experienced disruption. with the closure of schools.
“The amount of food lost during blackouts was very expensive in the past,” said Stephanie Steffano-Davis, superintendent of the Southern Humboldt Joint Unified School District in Miranda. “These generators will allow our district to run every refrigerator in our schools in the event of a power failure. We are grateful for the support and ability this allows our community to be better prepared in an emergency. “
Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal led the effort to secure the generators, acknowledging the great impact of power outages on local schools.
“State funding became available after the power outages for public safety and one of the funding criteria was to help schools become resilient during these outages,” Honsal said.
Honsal contacted Humboldt County Schools Superintendent Dr Chris Hartley, who then worked with Humboldt County Sheriff’s Emergency Services Director Ryan Derby to secure the grant and order the generators.
Dr Hartley says these generators are especially important for schools in the more rural parts of Humboldt County, which are several miles from the nearest services and may be affected by a number of local emergencies requiring power from relief. “On behalf of the 31 school districts in the county, I would like to express my gratitude for this partnership with Sheriff Honsal and OES. These generators will help school sites in our county maintain essential functions during PSPS events or any other weather-related power outage, ”said Dr. Hartley.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has a long-standing partnership with the Humboldt County Office of Education, the two most recently working together during the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate an emergency response to scale County.
“I am very proud of our partnership with the Office of Education,” Sheriff Honsal said. “It has the biggest impact; ensuring that our schools can operate in the event of an electrical emergency. “
Schools in Humboldt County are expected to start receiving the generators this week.