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Be prepared for power outages

Power outages can happen unexpectedly due to various factors such as natural disasters, severe weather conditions, or infrastructure maintenance. It's essential to have a backup plan in place for extended outages. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Stay informed:

    For outage information visit our outages page, see updates on Facebook or call 0800 66 11 77. Keep a battery-operated radio handy for weather updates and emergency alerts.

    Emergency kit:

    Keep an emergency kit stocked with essentials such as non-perishable food, water, first aid supplies, medications, and important documents.

    Communication plan:

    Establish a communication plan with family members or neighbours in case of emergencies. Designate a meeting point and ensure everyone knows how to contact each other.

    Medical dependence:

    If you rely on power for medical reasons, notify your electricity retailer (who you pay your power bill to) and have a backup plan in place.

    Check on neighbours:

    Look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours who may need assistance during power outages.

    Backup transportation:

    Keep your vehicle's fuel tank filled, as petrol stations may be affected by power outages. This ensures you have a means of transportation if needed.

    Keep warm:

    Invest in alternative heating sources like wood fires or gas heaters. Stock up on warm clothing and blankets to stay warm during outages.

    Prepare meals:

    Utilise a BBQ for hot meals and minimise fridge and freezer usage to conserve energy. Remember, an unopened fridge can keep contents cool for up to 4 hours, and an unopened freezer for up to 48 hours.

    Preserve food:

    Use ice packs or frozen water bottles in your fridge or freezer to help maintain cold temperatures during outages.

    Hot water access:

    Your hot water cylinder will maintain warmth for a while, ensuring you can still enjoy a hot shower. It will reheat once power is restored.

    Water supply in rural areas:

    Consider alternative water sources such as non-electric pumps or backup generators to ensure access to water.

  • Alternative power:

    Consider investing in a generator to keep essential appliances running during outages. Remember to operate generators safely, away from your home or garage.

    Lighting solutions:

    Ensure you have torches with batteries handy for reliable lighting. Gas-powered camping lanterns can be useful but please be careful as these pose a fire risk.

    Backup lighting:

    Consider installing solar-powered outdoor lights to illuminate pathways and entrances during outages.

    Protect electronics:

    Turn off appliances at the wall to prevent damage during power restoration. Also consider using surge protectors.

    Charging devices:

    Keep power banks or car chargers on hand to keep your devices powered up.

    Phone and internet connectivity:

    While fibre connections may not work during outages, rely on 3G/4G networks or copper phone lines for communication.

    Automatic garage doors:

    Familiarise yourself with the manual release lever to open doors from the inside during outages.

    Practice safety:

    Exercise caution when using candles or alternative heating sources to prevent fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep flammable materials away from heat sources.

    Plan for pets:

    Have supplies ready for your pets, including food, water, medications, and comfort items, to ensure their well-being during outages.

    Test equipment regularly:

    Periodically test your backup power sources, such as generators or battery packs, to ensure they are in working condition when needed.

    Backup for business:

    Invest in backup power solutions such as generators or uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems to ensure critical operations can continue during power outages. Regular maintenance and testing of these systems are essential to ensure their reliability when needed.

By incorporating these tips into your preparedness plan, you can better cope with power outages and ensure the safety and comfort of yourself, your loved ones, and your business operations.

Civil Defence provides detailed information on how you and your family can be ready to  cope in a crisis. We recommend following their advice.