Keeping You Connected

The RCMA keeps you up to date on the latest news,
policy developments, and events


Key Steps to Take in Your Practice During a Power Outage

A Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) is a practice used by utility companies to preemptively shut off power in high fire risk areas during potentially dangerous weather conditions. Public Safety Power Shutoffs can last several hours to many days. Their impact may extend across city and county lines.


You can register  with your utility company’s and county’s emergency alert systems to receive alerts of power shut-offs. Links to California’s three main utility companies are below.


Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Southern California Edison

San Diego Gas & Electric



  • Does your practice have contingency plans for managing loss of power and other utilities?
  • Does your office have emergency lighting that will activate during a power outage, or does the office have ample natural light to ensure visibility during an outage? Are there flashlights, with spare batteries, located throughout your office?
  • Does your practice have an emergency generator to supply power during outages? If so,
    • Is the generatr located in the safest area possible (e.g., a cool, dry location that won’t be at risk for flooding)? Will your emergency generator power all of your systems or only critical systems?
    • Have yu identified which systems should remain available during a power outage?


Vaccines - Protecting Your Vaccines in the Event of Power Loss


If you participate in the Vaccine for Children Program (VFC) you should refer to your VFC approved vaccine management plan which includes guidance on what to do in the event of a refrigerator or freezer malfunction or power failure that might compromise vaccine viability.  For more in-depth information related to VFC vaccine management, see the CDHP link


Click here for a template of a Vaccine Management Plan.


Short-Term Power Outage (<4 hours)

Any facility storing vaccines must have a trusted system to follow in case of power failure. Here are a few key points to keep in mind when making your plans for safe cold chain management during power outages.


Do not open refrigerator or freezer doors at the immediate start of the outage.  Place a “DO NOT OPEN” sign on the vaccine storage unit(s).  Many blackouts will not last long and most units will maintain their interior cold temperature if the door remains closed. As soon as the power returns, be sure to record the interior temperature with extra care, paying close attention to maximum temperature observed and duration of exposure. If unsure whether vaccines are still effective, contact Riverside County Public Health (951) 358-7125 and keep these temperature records on hand. While many vaccines will retain their properties in slight temperature changes, certain sensitive vaccines such as MMR or Varivax may be unusable. Get the facts before discarding or administering any exposed vaccines.


Temperature Monitoring

Monitoring the interior temperature after a power outage should be your priority in vaccine protection. If you have a battery powered thermostat, record the temperature readings and remember to mark the time. If not, wait until power is restored. DO NOT open the door to take temperature readings, as doing so will expose contents to ambient higher temperatures. Remember to be extra diligent in recording temperature following an outage, keeping track of maximum and minimum temperatures until the unit stabilizes.


This is a key reason why all refrigerators that are storing vaccines should be equipped with a temperature logger. Many loggers are battery powered (or include back-up batteries) and will continue to record during a power outage.


4+ Hour Power Outage

Alternate Refrigeration

If possible, keep a generator-powered refrigerator in your facility to store vaccines in case of power failure. Remember to continue to monitor the interior temperature in this unit, as well as the interior of the original unit as soon as power is restored. The CDC recommends vaccine providers establish working agreements with other facilities (such as hospitals, VFC centers or pharmacies) to serve as emergency storage facilities in case of power outages. Having this preexisting relationship will be valuable in such an event.


Transporting Vaccines

If you are moving vaccines to another facility, take extreme caution in transporting these items to maintain the cold chain. Here are a few points to keep in mind:


  1. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed, opening them only when absolutely necessary to transfer materials to their travel container. Make transportation preparations before opening the door to ensure a cold-safe environment for as long as possible.
  2. Transport the materials using properly insulated containers. Portable DC powered refrigerators and freezers are a great solution to this problem, as they can plug into the lighter socket of any vehicle and act as a regular refrigerated unit.  Otherwise use a hard-sided coolers with frozen water bottles and cold packs.  Make sure to have bubble wrap on hand to protect the vaccines.
  3. Monitor the temperature during the transportation process.
  4. Take extra care in keeping records of all stored vaccines, noting the vaccine type, date, time, and temperature before and after the transportation process.
  5. Pay attention to the individual needs of each vaccine type.

Keep Track of Exposed Vaccines

Identify which vaccines have been exposed to ambient temperature by marking them with the time power was lost. Do not discard these materials, as they may still be effective and safe to administer. Simply record the temperature details and keep them separated from any other stored vaccines.  Vaccines are costly materials with precise cooling needs. Medical Practices must be prepared to handle power outages and refrigerator breakdowns in order to save thousands of dollars and product integrity.



  • Has your practice developed protocols for managing computer system failures, loss of Internet connectivity, and loss of phone services?
  • Has your practice assessed all of its information technology (IT) applications, services, and data to identify the most critical?
  • Is onsite IT euipment (e.g., servers, laptops, etc.) kept in the safest place possible within your practice?
  • Are safeguards, such as surge protectors, in place to maintain and/or protect critical systems?
  • Is a contingency plan in place for the continued provision of care, especially related to medication refills at pharmacies outside of the power outage area, even if IT systems (such as electronic health records and VOIP phones) are not available?
  • Does your practice have a protocol for shutting down all systems or moving IT euipment offsite prior to an impending disaster?
  • Does your practice consistently and freuently back up its data?
  • Is backup data stored offsite or in multiple locations to prevent loss or destruction if the office is damaged?
  • Does your practice maintain documentation for critical IT hardware and software (e.g., serial numbers, versions/models, lease information, suppliers, etc.)?
  • Do your practice’s IT vendors have emergency response plans?
  • Do they offer emergency services as part of their contracts?




  • Have you considered the types of emergency euipment and supplies your practice should maintain based on the most probable emergency scenarios?
  • Does your practice have basic emergency supplies onsite, such as basic tools, flashlights, a first aid kit, fire extinguishers, a portable radio, extra batteries, water, and nonperishable food?
  • Does your emergency response plan specify the need for periodic auditing of emergency supplies and routine testing of emergency euipment?



California Public Utilities Commission Website:

Public Safety Power Shutoff Website:

CAL FIRE’s wildfire preparedness website:

California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services website:


Comments are closed.


2013 2014 Ebola Outbreak 2014 Election 2016 Abuse ACA Addiction AIDS All Physicians Annual Report Appointments Assembly Business and Professions Committee Awards Ballot Initiatives Boxer Budget Burnout CA Ballot Initiatives CAFP California CMA CMA Annual Report Comments Congress Construction Controlled Substance COVID-19 Discontent Dolores Early-Career Physician EHR Election Election 2014 Exchange Financial Governance Grace Period H.R.2. Health Exchange Health Laws Healthcare Laws HIE HIT HIV Hizon HOD House House of Delegates ICD-10 IEHP Languages Lee Legislation Mahdi Meaningful Use Medical Medi-Cal Medical Office Safety Medicare MICRA Mode of Practice New No on 46 NoOn46 Opioids Outstanding Contribution Palm Springs Patients Paul Green Physicians for a Healthy California Practice Management Prop 46 Prop 56 Proposition 46 Public Health Public Health Alert Public Safety Power Outage Rajaratnam Ranch Mirage Rancho Springs Rating RCMA RCMA President Repeal Residents Risk Management Riverside Community Hospital Riverside County Schedualing Senate SGR Shooting Southwest Healthcare Stage 2 Stress Termination Trial Lawyers Uppal Vaccines White Wilson Creek Winery #GivingTuesday #Medi-CalRedetermination #MeToo #RiversideCountyPhysicians 2014 2014 Election 2014 laws 2015-2017 2016 2016 Election 2018 2019 2020 2021 2021 taxes 2022 Employment Law 2023 Year in Review 46 AB 2770 AB 3087 AB 3109 AB 5 AB 880 AB5 ABMS ABX2-15 ACA Advisory Council Advocacy Affordable Care Act AHCA AMA Anthem Blue Cross Asian Violence Assembly Assembly Bill Attestation Awards Awards Committee Behavioral Health Benefit Big Tobacco Blue Shield of California board certification board certified Bruce Holmblad Burnout CA CA Senate Cal INDEX CalHealthCares Calhhs California California Employment Law California Laws California Legislation California Society of Plastic Surgeons Californian Physicians Call for Nominations Cameron Kaiser CCI CDC CEO certification Childcare City of Riverside Claims Clearinghouses CMA CME CMS Coalition for Patient Access and Quality Care Committee Confidential Congress Contributions to Medicine controlled substances Coronavirus Coronavirus Testing Coroner Council on Graduate Medical Education Covered CA Covered Califonria Covered California covid19 COVID-19 COVID-19 Employer Concerns COVID-19 Financial Assistance COVID-19 Resources COVID-19 Response COVID-19 Testing COVID-19 Updates COVID-19-Resources CPT modifer CSPS Cultural Diversity CURES Cuts Data Exchange data exchange framework data sharing data sharing agreement David Duffner Deadlines DEARequirements deductible Delegates Delivery Models Depression DHCS Documentation donate Donate to RCMA Donations Drugs Dual Elligibles DxF Ebola ehi EHR eligibility employee Employee Classification Employer Concerns Employer Guidance employment employment law Employment Status End-Of-Life Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans enrollment ERISA Ethnic Unity Exchange FAQ Federal Federal Legislation Feinstein Financial Assistance financial planning Free Free PPE Funding fundraiser Future Gary Honts GivingTuesday Governor Governor Newsom Grace Period Health Care Reform Health Information health information exchange Health Reform healthcare burnout Healthcare Information Technoloogy Healthcare Legislation Healthcare Rates Healthcare Reform healthcare symposium healthcare worker bonus Healthcare Workers Hernandez HIPAA HIT Holiday Giving ICD-10 IEFMC IEHIE IEHP IEPCC Imagine Plastic Surgery Increase infoblocking informationblocking informationblockingfaq informationblockingrule Installation Installation of Officers insurance investments JFK Memorial Hospital Jiangmen China Hospital Kaiser Permanente lactation accomodations Laws legal Legislation Legislative Alert Loan Assistance Loan repayment Loan Repayment Progam Loan Repayment Scholarship Program Loma Linda long term disability LTSS MA Mahdi Maintenance of Certification Managed Care Manifest MedEx marketing Meaningful Use Measles Med-CalRe-enrollment Medcare Medicaid Medi-Cal medical board Medical law medical practices medical staff Medical Student Scholarship Fund Medical Students Medical Supply Donations Medi-CalEligibility medicare medicare cuts 2023 member benefit Mental Health Mentoring MICRA minimum wage minimum wage increase MIPS MOC Molina Molina Healthcare NAACOS National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day News Nomination Nominations Nondiscrimination Posting Non-profit Donations norcal Noridian Obamacare Insurance October 22 On-Call ONET ONET Physicians opiod opiod advocacy opiod crisis opiod enforcement opiod epidemic opiods opioid opioid abuse Outstanding Outstanding Contributions Outstanding Contributions Awards Palmetto GBA Patient Patient Care Patient Data Patient Refusal of Treatment patients pay equity Paycheck protection Payment Models Pediatric Physicians PHA PHC Physician Physician Aid-in-Dying Physician Awards Physician Burnout physician certification physician medical board physician mentoring Physician mentors Physician Recruitment Physician Wellness Physicians Physicians for a healthy California Physicians in Riverside Pietro Wellness Fund Plastic Surgery POLST Population Health Power Outage PPE PPE Provider Survey PPE Supplies practice management practice managment Practice Mangement prescribing opiods prescription drugs President Priorities privacy ProAssurance Professional Liability Project K.I.N.D. Project Kind Prop 46 Prop 56 Proposition 46 Proposition 56 PSPS Public Health Public Health Alert Public Safety QPP Quality Payment Program RCH RCMA RCMA Business Partner RCMA Business Partners RCMA Docs RCMA Medicare Update RCMA Member RCMA Physicians RCMA Scholarship Program RCMA Stands RCMA Year In Review RCPMF Real-time Patient Data Red Tape Repayment Demands Reputation retention bonus retention payments Retreat Risk Management Riverside County Riverside County Medical Association riverside county physicians Riverside County Physicians Memorial Foundation Riverside County Public Health riverside physicians RiversideCountyMedicalAssociation RIVPAC RUHS RUHS-PH SB 1343 SB 491 SB 492 SB 493 SB 62 SB1343 SBA scholarship scholarship fundraiser Scholarships Scope of Practice Sequestration sexual harassment sexual harassment preventation sexual harassment training SGR Small Business Small Business Resources Small Businesses social media State Capitol Stress Survey taxes Telehealth Telemedicine Tenet Texting Safety Thakur Law Firm The Unforgettables Foundation Timothy Pietro Wellness Fund Toolkits Top Doctor Awards Transforming Your Practice UC Riverside UCR School of Medicine United Vaccines Management Vaccines Management Plan Value Based Care Vantage Virtual We Care for California Webinars Wellness WestPac Wealth Worker Classification Workers' Comp Workplace workplace compliance Year in Review Year-in-review

Current Initiatives

Medical Scholarship Programs

Scholarship Programs

Medical Student & Early-Career Physician Loan Repayment Programs

View Program
Member Benefits

Member Benefits

Resources that support our members’ practices.

Member Benefits
Physician Wellness

Physician Wellness

Supporting the health of physicians

Wellness Resources
Riverside County Medical Association Seal
California Medical Association Seal

Contact Us

Riverside County Medical Association (RCMA)
Mailing: PO Box 2425, Riverside, CA 92516
Location: 3993 Jurupa Ave., Riverside, CA 92506
Phone: (951) 686-3342

As a member of the RCMA and/or its affiliated organizations (Inland Empire Foundation for Medical Care, Riverside County Foundation for Medical Care, Inland Empire Health Information Organization, Riverside County Physicians Memorial Foundation), I authorize Riverside County Medical Association, and its affiliated organizations listed above, permission to use my likeness, name and/or quote and consent to the audio and video recording of my voice, name, and image. I further consent to the distribution and broadcast of my appearance, including any information and content I provide, in audio, video, or text form for the purpose of publication, promotion, illustration, advertising, or any other related lawful purpose.