UK Power Networks is working closely with the Met Office to track the high winds and heavy rain that ARE forecast to hit the UK on 5 February and has issued the following advice.
If the storm materialises and affects power lines, our paramount focus will be on restoring electricity to customers as quickly and safely as possible.
We are currently putting in place a range of measures to be better prepared to respond to any potential impact on our networks and customers.
We are currently preparing to deal with the storm’s potential impact on our network and customers. Below are some of the measures we are taking:
We are arranging additional staff to cover call centre roles. Additional people have been allocated to take and make phone calls and provisions are in place for even more engineers and resources to be available on short notice in case of need.
Our emergency teams are reviewing plans and a message has gone out to our trained customer champions to be prepared to be deployed to sites if the storm materialises.
We invest in a partnership arrangement with the British Red Cross and can activate their volunteers to support vulnerable customers if power is affected.
The emergency teams in the local authorities have access to the web link that enables them to see fault levels. In the aftermath of Storm St Jude, we have improved our systems to make the tracker more robust.
Our electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather can affect overhead power lines when tree branches and windborne debris damage them. In the event of a power cuts as result of the winds and rain, UK Power Network’s priority will be to restore supplies as quickly as is safely possible and keep people informed as best we can during a constantly changing situation. We will work from job to job targeting big jobs first where many customers are affected.
In communication with customers, we urge the public to stay well clear from power lines and anyone spotting a damaged power line needs to report it to UK Power Networks.
To report any power cuts and damaged lines on free helplines, please refer customers to the following numbers: In the South East call 0800 783 8866 and in the East of England call 0800 783 8838. You can also see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk and follow the company on twitter for updates.
Preparing for a power cut
Below is some advice on how our customers can prepare for a power cut:
Keep our freephone number handy
See the website for some useful videos offering you advice during a power cut.
Keep spare batteries for radios and torches – local radio stations often broadcast helpful information
Keep an old-fashioned corded phone which you can plug in, as cordless phones won’t work in the event of a power cut
Dress warmly in several layers of clothing, stay in one room or even get into bed
Take care if using candles, tea-lights and other naked flames
Keep fridges and freezers closed, with a blanket over as they will stay cold for many hours
Switch off all your electrical equipment, except one light which will let you know when the power comes back on
Remember the street lights may also be off so take care if you go out
Look out for elderly neighbours; please consider taking them a flask of hot water round or hot food