The social hall in the community center at Long Beach’s Cesar E. Chavez Park sounded like a mini United Nations.

At the end of one table, Raymond Pok sat with a bakery owner explaining Southern California Edison’s (SCE) claims process in Khmer, while at the other end Adrian Garcia answered a young Hispanic couple’s questions in Spanish.

The two SCE Local Public Affairs managers were part of a team that attended a recent community outreach event hosted by Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez. They helped explain the claims process to residents and business owners affected by the power outage earlier this month.

They also provided information about SCE’s assistance programs for low-income customers and distributed emergency preparedness materials from the American Red Cross.

“We wanted to make it easy for the residents impacted,” said Ed Robinson, an SCE Local Public Affairs principal manager. “We have people here who speak Korean, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Khmer and Tagalog.”

The outage hit the downtown area of Long Beach July 15, leaving most customers without power for a couple of days.

SCE President Pedro Pizarro recently announced that the company would expedite its response to claims by customers affected. He said SCE will review the merits of each customer’s claim and provide a response in 30 days or less from the day the claim is received.

Information on filing a claim is available online in Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese, but the claim form is in English. Language specialists are available by phone to help customers in those four languages and Khmer.

The recent community event gave residents an opportunity to get their questions answered in person in their native language.

“We wanted to make it less cumbersome for them,” Robinson said.

Customers can file a claim online, via mail at P.O. Box 900, Rosemead, CA 91770, by email to claims@SCE.com or by fax at 626-569-2573.

Those customers who were without power for more than 24 hours will also receive a $100 credit on their bill. Due to billing cycles, the credit will appear on the next bill or the one after that. The credits will be paid by shareholder money and is not funded by SCE customers’ utility bill payments.

Two additional community events are planned for SCE representatives to help with Long Beach outage claims:

  • Thursday, July 30, 7-9 p.m., East Village Event, The Lafayette (upstairs solarium), 140 Linden Ave.
  • Friday, July 31, 10 a.m.-noon, Plymouth West, 240 Chestnut Ave.