UK Power Networks: Severe Weather Preparations
Posted on February 13, 2014
Yesterday, as forecast, the UK was hit by the latest wave of severe weather. Heavy winds and rain have resulted in disruption of power supplies across several parts of the country.
Wind speeds within UK Power Networks' region, while still severe, were not as extreme as in other parts of the country. The weather did have an impact on our network, but the preparations that we put in place over the last days meant that we have been able to cope with the resultant level of faults and customer calls.
Met Office forecasts indicate that the period of severe weather will continue into the weekend hitting UK Power Networks' region tomorrow evening and on Saturday. We therefore continue to work closely with the Met Office to monitor the situation and continue to mobilise the resources in preparation for any future disruptions.
Currently, the weather forecast for UK Power Networks' region is as following:
- A weather warning has been issued for the south coast for the night of 14 February. Wind speeds of 75-80mph are forecast on the coastal parts of our South Eastern network and 65mph for inland areas.
- The Eastern network is forecast to be hit by winds of up to 70mph on Essex and Suffolk coasts, lowering to 50mph inland.
We would like to reiterate the dangers of coming into contact with downed power lines and urge the public to stay well clear. Anyone spotting a damaged power line needs to report it to UK Power Networks immediately.
To report any power cuts and damaged lines on free helplines, please refer to the following numbers:
In the South East call 0800 783 8866 or 01243 50 8866 for mobile users and in the East of England call 0800 783 8838 or 01243 50 8838 for mobile users.
How are we preparing?
When our power network is impacted by a storm, our priority is always on restoring electricity to customers as quickly and safely as possible.
The following measures have been taken as part of on-going preparations:
- We have mobilised over 400 overhead linesmen across our Eastern and South Eastern networks.
- Several contractor teams from our Eastern network are also being moved to support the South Eastern region
- Over 150 additional staff have been drafted to take inbound calls as have additional control engineers, dispatchers and schedulers
- Additional staff have been mobilised to input customer information regarding progress of jobs and estimated time of restoration
- Engineering teams from our London network have been called upon to assist with the connection of generators
In addition to the above, over 250 scouts and over 70 Customer Information Officers have been confirmed across the business. UK Power Networks' specially trained staff, known as Customer Champions, have also been put on stand-by.
How can you prepare?
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
We will continue to send you regular updates but please don't hesitate to check our website www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk or follow us on twitter.
Source: UK Power Networks
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