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Center was a vital resource during north state power shutoff

Whether it was a lithium battery powering crucial medical devices for up to three days, hotel stays or $50 daily food vouchers, Disability Action Center was a vital resource for north state residents affected by the PG&E power shutoffs.

The center used a $60,000 grant from PG&E to provide an array of services that were required the last week of October as the giant utility company shut off power to consumers for fire prevention reasons.

Up to 15 batteries were distributed to DAC consumers in Redding and Chico.

Hotel stays, which included daily food vouchers, totaled 30 guests.

“It was a very successful program,” said center program manager Wendy Longwell.

More power shutoffs are planned by PG&E to counter the threat from statewide wildfires and DAC will be prepared with even more batteries that have been provided by the utility, Longwell said.

Some outstanding batteries still need to be returned to either the Redding or Chico DAC offices.

If you are having difficulty returning a battery that was loaned to you by DAC, call 242-8550 or 893-8527 to arrange a pickup.

DAC gets grant to power devices in next shutoff

CHICO –The nonprofit Independent Living Center for the North State region, Disability Action Center of Chico-Redding, has been awarded a Public Safety Power Shutoff grant from PG&E to aid residents who will be impacted by ongoing utilities disruptions.

Through the $60,000 grant, DAC now has the resources, including several portable lithium battery packs, to help consumers who have a medical condition, medical equipment or refrigerated medication that would be at risk without power. The packs can power a refrigerator for up to three days to keep vital medicine like insulin at proper temperatures. They can also be a power source for other medical devices like cpaps, oxygen, feeding pumps, ventilators, power chairs and dialysis machines, to name just a few.

The pilot program also provides funding for hotel rooms, gift cards for food and transportation.

A current PG&E bill and proof of medical condition/equipment needs are required to get help from DAC, conditions that are required under the grant.

All equipment will be distributed on a free loan basis and must be returned to DAC.

Local anchorman Mike Mangas of Ch. 7 interviewed program manager Wendy Longwell recently at the DAC Redding office regarding the grant.

Consumers are asked to call DAC at 530-893-8527 or 242-8550 for assistance when the next power shutoff is scheduled. The Chico office for DAC is located at 1161 East Ave. The Redding office is at 2876 Park Marina Drive

The lithium battery packs can last all weekend to power low energy medical equipment like ventilators, Cpaps, dialysis machines and IV pumps (Dan Murphy photos).
DAC program manager Wendy Longwell, right, talks with Ch. 7’s Mike Mangas about the center’s new grant for battery packs and lodging assistance in response to the power shutoffs.

Cody Hull Lauded For Dedicated Service

Longtime volunteer Cody Hull was honored as Disability Action Center’s Outstanding Volunteer Award winner during a recent staff meeting in Chico.

Executive Director Evan Levang spoke of Hull’s enthusiastic efforts on behalf of DAC while presenting a special plaque to the award winner.

The plaque reads: “Thank you for your dedication.”

Among his numerous contributions to DAC, Mr. Hull compiles a housing list of available properties for Butte County residents and beyond. He also regularly works the center’s reception area, answering phones and greeting the public.

DAC program manager Wendy Longwell praised Hull’s willingness to be a team player. “Cody is always there when we ask him to go above and beyond,” Longwell said.

Chico Mayor Randall Stone attended the meeting and helped recognize Hull.

DAC OIB Senior Specialist Teresa Rios lauded Hull for his pleasant demeanor and versatility. “Cody is always willing to help with any and every project he is asked to help with,” she said. “When he gets to the office he always makes his way back to my office to say ‘good morning’ or ‘hello’. It is such a pleasure to have him in our office.”