A great start to the Sutton Beer Festival tonight – I nipped along after my second Meet Your Councillor event at the Community Room. My favourite beer so far? The Wilbraham Special by Crafty Beers. What about you?
You can help keep safe if there is a power cut following the storms due tonight. This briefing has just been sent to local Councillors by UK Power Networks, who look after the National Grid.
One thing you might not think about: cordless household phones may not work without electricity. You should have at least one phone in the house that is wired and plugged in.
Today is a normal day across the networks with no widespread power cuts due to the weather. However, UK Power Networks has been notified of a severe weather warning from the Met Office with heavy rain, thunderstorms and lightning forecast to hit the East of England, South East of England and the London area this Friday night and over Saturday 19th July.
Our paramount focus will be on restoring electricity to customers as quickly and safely as possible and 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 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.
- 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.
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 localised gusts, lightning and heavy 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, in the East of England call 0800 783 8838 and in London call 0800 028 0247. You can also see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk and follow the company on twitter for updates @ukpowernetworks .
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
- 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
- Exercise caution in localised flooded areas -specific advice is available on the Environment Agency website.
- Look out for elderly neighbours and other vulnerable people
We would be grateful if you could forward this email to your contacts, including in district and parish councils.
Stakeholder Engagement Team
UK Power Networks
237 Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 6NP