For the first time in decades, the UK faces the prospect of power outages this winter. Putin’s war in Ukraine has squeezed energy supplies across Europe, driving up costs massively. With the continent having to source energy from other sources and cut back wherever possible, the possibility of power cuts will be higher this winter as energy usage rises during the colder months.
National Grid has reassured people that power cuts remain unlikely and that energy supplies will be similar to previous years, however if there is a cold snap and energy demand spikes, power outages may occur.
In a worst-case scenario where there is a shortage of gas and gas-fired power stations are unable to produce enough energy, the country would be faced with intermittent blackouts. This would be managed however, with National Grid rotating blackouts so that the whole country wouldn’t be without power at the same time. Cuts would most likely occur at peak times, either in the morning when people are getting up, or around 4pm to 7pm when people are coming home from work.
If this does happen, people could expect to return home and be unable to use most of the mod cons that we have become so accustomed to. No Wi-Fi, TV, or even the ability to cook a meal, unless you have a gas cooker.
While it is still unlikely that the UK will face prolonged power cuts, it is always good to be prepared should the worst happen. We have therefore prepared a short guide to help you out should the lights suddenly go off.
Check powercut105.com regularly
You can check to see if there will be a planned blackout in your area by logging on to powercut105.com and entering your postcode. You should have 24 hours’ notice of a scheduled power cut, which will allow you time to prepare and get any essential supplies. Alternatively, you can dial 105 to find out information on any planned power cuts.
Ensure you’ll still have lighting
With darkness outside and a lack of lighting inside, you may be plunged into darkness. This could be a real problem if you do not have any alternate lighting as you risk bumping into or tripping over things and injuring yourself.
Most smartphones nowadays have a torch feature; however, you may not want to run down your battery when you’re unable to charge it back up. Investing in a couple of good torches and spare batteries is therefore a good idea. Candles are also a good option and will make the experience that bit more ambient, just remember to also invest in some matches or a lighter!
When the lights go out, don’t immediately rush to find your torches or candles, wait for a couple of minutes for eyes to adjust to the darkness.
Stock up on food that doesn’t require cooking
If you have a gas cooker,then you will still be able to cook food as usually would. If you don’t, you’ll have to eat something that doesn’t require cooking. It’s therefore always a good idea to have a supply of food that won’t require any cooking.
Ingredients for a sandwich, pre-cooked meat, fruit, salads and snacks are all a safe option for when there’s no power. If you have enough time to prepare, you could even invest in a portable gas stove so you can still cook your favourite meals.
Get some portable chargers
Having a couple of portable chargers ready to go will allow you keep mobile phones charged so you can stay on top of updates and keep in touch with loved ones. If you have other devices that can be charged this way, the benefits of having portable chargers is even greater.
Invest in some warm blankets and clothes
A lack of power for a sustained period can mean it may get very cold in your home, especially in winter. Buying some cosy blankets can make the experience a lot more bearable if the temperature starts to drop. Putting on jumpers and warm coats is also a good idea, or you could fetch a duvet from the bedroom.
Keep fridges and freezers closed
Ensuring you fridge and freezer doors are kept shut will help perishable foods last longer. Moving items onto the same shelves and into the same drawers will also help keep food colder for longer.
It may also be worth putting a towel down underneath the freezer to catch any water from melting ice.
Make the most of it
These days we spend most of our time using technology. Most office jobs involve using a computer all day, and when we get home, many of us tend to sit in front of the TV, games console or another computer. A power cut therefore provides a rare opportunity to break free from technology and indulge in other activities.
It is important you view this as a challenge, not a nuisance. Take the time to read a book (provided you have lighting), play a board game or have an interesting conversation. Simply having time away from a screen could be beneficial, even if you just sit and reflect on your day.
This article was written by an online estate agent House Sales Direct. If you wish to sell your house fast and for free, then head over to the House Sales Direct website for more property related information and enquiries.