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AIBU?

To suggest you prepare for power outages this winter (National Grid warnings)

798 replies

Lassie76 · 18/10/2022 11:10

The first reports suggesting planned power outages emerged a month or two ago, I really didn't take much notice of them because "surely it won't come to that" etc.
The last couple of weeks the reports are gradually increasing and National Grid have again warned today that there may be planned power outages this winter.

I think they are starting to gently prepare us for this reality.

So I've just bought 4 battery powered lanterns for the house and stocked up on batteries.

How about some suggestions of what we can do to prepare?

  1. Keep phones charged up while power is on in case of emergencies
  2. Stock up on foods that can be prepared without electricity or gas/heat
  3. Make sure you have enough blankets
  4. Keep cash handy (ATMS need electricity to run)
  5. Keep a list of phone numbers written down - many people don't know phone numbers as they are stored in mobile phones
  6. Make sure you have several torches or lanterns ready with a good stock of batteries
  7. Candles and matches if needed
  8. Keep car full of petrol if you can?
  9. Camping stoves that run on cans of fuel? If you are campers you may already have a lot of this stuff!
  10. Battery powered radio to listen for updates


Can anyone think of other precautions? Is anyone else preparing for power outages?
OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

580 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
44%
You are NOT being unreasonable
56%
FlibbertyGiblets · 18/10/2022 11:13

oh heck. I have recently stocked up the freezer with batch cooked meals, do I need to think about a diesel generator to keep it running?
Or are the planned outages (not sure if that is the correct phrase) going to be short-ish like I dunno, 6 hrs and under so keep freezer closed stuff?

DoingTheBestICan · 18/10/2022 11:18

It might be a good idea to get some board games to entertain the family if we do have power cuts in the evenings.

I'll be advising my ds to complete as much work as he can whilst in college in case we have no power in the evenings.

Alvinne · 18/10/2022 11:19

They are currently talking about rolling 3 hour blackouts, but who knows really. Could come to nothing, could be worse than predicted.

YouCantBeSadHoldingACupcake · 18/10/2022 11:19

I'm pretty sure they are supposed to be 3hr blackouts between 4pm and 7pm, we have young children so eat at 5, will have to find a way around that. We have candles and battery lamps, everyone with a phone has a power bank. Heating isn't generally on at that time anyway. It will be inconvenient rather than a disaster.

FlibbertyGiblets · 18/10/2022 11:22

Ok rolling 3 hour blackouts would be doable (can't believe we are even thinking this though)

GasPanic · 18/10/2022 11:22

I would have thought you would need to have an absolute ton of meals in order to make it worth backing them up with a generator.

Plus the outages won't probably be for that long.

Things stay cold for ages when you switch freezers off, but one thing you could do to mitigate it is maybe freeze up some containers of ice to fill up any dead space in the freezer as you use up the meals. For me takes a 3 pint container of milk about 3 days to unfreeze when transferred from the freezer to the fridge !

It will of course cost you some electricity to freeze the water. But probably much less than a generator.

Thelnebriati · 18/10/2022 11:24

I hadn't thought of keeping some cash handy, I'll sort that out today.

We have an old duvet to throw over the freezer in case of a power cut. We've also put freezer blocks in all the drawers.

FourTeaFallOut · 18/10/2022 11:24

Planned blackouts seem a much easier prospect to manage. If this is what is ahead of us then just keeping the freezer door shut should protect your food Flibberty.

FlibbertyGiblets · 18/10/2022 11:25

GasP yep I have realised short outages are being talked of, not power off for days at a time etc. No need for a generator.

Alvinne · 18/10/2022 11:25

Also why would you vote YABU on this? The list OP provided are fairly straightforward easy things most people can do to be prepared for a situation that the national grid are actively warning about.

StarDolphins · 18/10/2022 11:26

I wish it was more definite - I don’t want to be buying stuff ‘just in case’ if it doesn’t happen.

FlibbertyGiblets · 18/10/2022 11:26

FourTeaFallOut · 18/10/2022 11:24

Planned blackouts seem a much easier prospect to manage. If this is what is ahead of us then just keeping the freezer door shut should protect your food Flibberty.

You are all so kind, thank you for this advice too.

FuzzyPuffling · 18/10/2022 11:26

Surely the power outages will be for around 3 hours, from what I've read? No need to do anything much but sit tight! Maybe have biscuits
( I lived through the 70s)

Shockmeafter · 18/10/2022 11:29

Battery powered radio for updates - maybe in a nuclear war but why can’t you just use your mobile phone during a planned 3 hour blackout. Get a back up power charge - mine charges my phone 3 times over so unless we have power outages for days at a time and a breakdown in society I think I’d live without a battery powered radio!

also, it’s 3 hours. Make a sandwich. Read a kindle. Watch a film on the iPad.

Pollydon · 18/10/2022 11:30

I have lived outside of the uk for a while now, have had power cuts sporadically.

Have 2 power banks charged and ready to go
Candles & matches
Torches and batteries
A tin of dominoes 😀
A camping stove and gas but only if you can use safely.

FourTeaFallOut · 18/10/2022 11:33

I can only imagine the chaos of people wafting around candles wearing their oodies. We'll need public announcements, it's either one or the other - not both 😬

greenacrylicpaint · 18/10/2022 11:34

why can’t you just use your mobile phone during a planned 3 hour blackout.

you might not have reception/data transmission if the phone mast is cut off electricity as well.

AutumnCrow · 18/10/2022 11:35

I lived through the 70s as a child, in the arse end of nowhere.

I’ve already got most of those things in the house out of instinct!

Three hours is probably doable for most people - but I’ll worry about my very expensive prescribed injections in the fridge. I’ll probably have to insulate them somehow. It would help if the NHS gave guidance on how it is best to prepare now, rather than wait till the last minute, for patients who need electricity for equipment and medicines.

theemmadilemma · 18/10/2022 11:37

greenacrylicpaint · 18/10/2022 11:34

why can’t you just use your mobile phone during a planned 3 hour blackout.

you might not have reception/data transmission if the phone mast is cut off electricity as well.

Yes, this only just occurred me. I had some how presumed data would still be available, but that likely won't actually be the case.

Apparently a battery backup power for your modem would work though.

Pollydon · 18/10/2022 11:37

FourTeaFallOut · 18/10/2022 11:33

I can only imagine the chaos of people wafting around candles wearing their oodies. We'll need public announcements, it's either one or the other - not both 😬

Quite.

Use candle sticks or jar candles, safety first. For gods sake dont out tealights ect on plastic surfaces.
I also recommend a large cuddly dog to help with keeping warm 😉

Abra1t · 18/10/2022 11:37

If it’s three hours in the evening you probably won’t need to go to the ATM at that particular time, so I wouldn’t get out extra cash, unless you mean that supermarket tills would be cash-only? Which could catch people out!

SparklyLeprechaun · 18/10/2022 11:38

Lots of scaremongering over nothing. Couple of hours without electricity will have minimal impact on the majority of the population. The ones I'm concerned about are people who need electricity to run medical equipment.

FourTeaFallOut · 18/10/2022 11:38

If the prospect of blackouts is a legitimate concern and 4-7pm is peak energy usage, now would seem a good time to decide not to put the clocks back this year.

mogsrus · 18/10/2022 11:39

The miners strikes that lasted a year had planned outages. No one went mad buying loads. life just carried on. I went to work every day & we never had a day without power

Seeline · 18/10/2022 11:40

Abra1t · 18/10/2022 11:37

If it’s three hours in the evening you probably won’t need to go to the ATM at that particular time, so I wouldn’t get out extra cash, unless you mean that supermarket tills would be cash-only? Which could catch people out!

Would supermarket tills work?

I think we have become so used to modern living that we have forgotten how much depends on electricity to run.

I remember the electricity going off regularly at about 5pm each evening for about 3 hours. I was about 5 I think. we had torches, candles in jars etc. Mum would put us to bed in the dark, as Dad struggled to get home on the train.

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