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Households are warned to prepare for BLACKOUTS by keeping torches and warm clothes nearby as energy firms battle to keep the lights on during coronavirus crisis

(178 Posts)
SerendipityJane Tue 31-Mar-20 16:59:10

Britons have been warned of the potential for blackouts amid growing fears that staff shortages could lead to issues with the country's power network.

Fears are growing that high levels of staff sickness during the coronavirus outbreak, mixed with the government's self-isolation rules, could lead to a shortage of engineers.

The National Grid insists that the network is able to cope.

But one electrical infrastructure firm has now written to some of its most vulnerable customers warning them to keep torches and warm clothes nearby in case of power cuts.

UK Power Networks, which owns and maintains the electricity cables in the South East and East of England, as well as London, has written to priority customers, including pensioners and those with young children, telling them what to do if their homes are hit with a power cut.

The advice, reported in The Daily Telegraph today, includes 'keeping a torch handy' and 'reducing heat loss by closing doors on unused rooms'.

Customers are also advised to have a 'hat, gloves and a blanket to hand to keep warm' and, where possible, to keep a corded telephone in the house, as well as a power bank to recharge mobile phones.

The advice comes as many electricity firms across the UK put non-essential infrastructure work on hold.

Companies have also implemented emergency strategies to deal with the knock-on effects of Covid-19, which has infected more than 20,000 people in the UK.

So far, 1,408 people have died as a result of the virus.

Other electricity distributors across the UK are also reportedly contacting the most vulnerable.

The energy firms are also ensuring staff can continue to work on essential projects while still abiding by the government's social distancing rules.

However a boss of one firm, SP Energy Networks, which operates in parts of Scotland, the North West and North Wales, said that staff sickness was a particular concern.

Concern was also raised about the length of time that the government's social distancing guidance could be in place for.


Fredastaireatemyjamsandwich Tue 31-Mar-20 17:01:24

Daily Mail being Dramallamas. And you fell for it...

Pishposhpashy Tue 31-Mar-20 17:02:30

Irresponsible reporting from the DM as usual.

Drivemybluecar Tue 31-Mar-20 17:02:47

Sorry. I never believe anything that comes from that crap

ZarkingBell Tue 31-Mar-20 17:04:47

Surely you should always know where to find a torch, have charged battery packs etc? Isn't that called being an adult?

ErrolTheDragon Tue 31-Mar-20 17:07:45

I've always known where torches etc are, especially since living in the US where power outages were common.

Pishposhpashy Tue 31-Mar-20 17:08:23

We don't own a torch.

cstaff Tue 31-Mar-20 17:17:08

Is there not one on your phone

Iwannabeadored20 Tue 31-Mar-20 17:18:27

First rule of the Brownies - torch, safety pin, needle and threat, pen and paper, plaster?

Can't remember anything else

DibDib grin

Bluetrews25 Tue 31-Mar-20 17:20:10

I like the needle and threat!
Do you stick it in the eye of the DM journo? grin

Takes me back to the 70s.

Persipan Tue 31-Mar-20 17:20:36

Amazing how I could tell that was a Daily Mail headline before even opening the thread.

megletthesecond Tue 31-Mar-20 17:21:32

Iwanna and string!

Naturallyunradiant Tue 31-Mar-20 17:23:28

Also a telegraph thread
I think we would crack without WiFi confused

cowfacemonkey Tue 31-Mar-20 17:27:47

Why do we need to keep hats and gloves to hand? It's April tomorrow anyone expecting a deep freeze? Plus why to hand?. We're locked down and all staying at home. It's a bit "Oh look Geoff the power is out and it feels a bit nippy so I'll go pop a jumper on"

Sensationalist horse shit!

cate16 Tue 31-Mar-20 17:34:07

I guess what it really means is - if we have a power cut they might not be fixed as quick as they usually are.

cowfacemonkey Tue 31-Mar-20 17:34:12

Iwanna you forgot 10 pence piece for emergency phone call

Port1aCastis Tue 31-Mar-20 17:34:32

Nothing from the beeb or most outlets so I wouldn't give the daily shite any creedence

mencken Tue 31-Mar-20 17:36:37

it is common bloody sense at any time to have a torch, a few candles and matches (careful) and a corded phone to plug in. That, too cool for school types, is why you should have a landline.

and yes, obviously fixes will take longer.

middleager Tue 31-Mar-20 17:37:02

Cue panic buying of torches, candles and power packs.

Ariela Tue 31-Mar-20 17:37:29

Even if the Russians cut the gas off to Europe, we are entering a period where an awful lot of our energy comes from the sun and with daylight hours increasing = false news, sorry (DH works in power industry)

Nothing wrong with keeping a torch handy though, a tree could fall on power lines any time.

FiveFootTwoEyesOfBlue Tue 31-Mar-20 17:38:12

It's April tomorrow anyone expecting a deep freeze?

Yes, down to -1 tonight and that's in the South!

But I'd still take this with a large pinch of salt.

1forsorrow Tue 31-Mar-20 17:38:43

Bloody hell, DH will feel smug. He's dying to play with his old generator. God knows if it would still work, been sitting at the back of the garage for 20 years.

YgritteSnow Tue 31-Mar-20 17:38:49

I refuse to give credence to anything the mail says about the CV crisis. If they hadn't ramped it up and reported so irresponsibly we'd never have had the panic buying and shortages we did. Horrified by them tbh. They should be disciplined in some way for how they have terrified people with their scare mongering.

<<clicks on Amazon to buy a powerful torch and batteries>>


Mintjulia Tue 31-Mar-20 17:40:08

No change then smile. Our power goes down with every storm.

And anyway people spend fortunes on candles so can’t imagine it would be much of a problem.

Daily Mail ramping up the drama again !

Sarahandco Tue 31-Mar-20 17:40:10

oh does that mean no WIFI?

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