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Loss of essential services

A power loss or blackout can be caused by a number of things such as storms, lightening and flooding which can damage the distribution network. Widespread damage to the national electricity transmission system is much more rare but could cause a significant disruption to people, businesses and public services. These failures could be local, regional or national.


If there was an electricity failure across our entire region or the whole of the UK, the impact would be very severe, causing widespread disruption to many critical sectors and wider society in general. Recovery could take up to five days with potential for some additional disruption beyond this timescale in the event of significant network damage.

Consequences of a national loss of power may include:

  • Fatalities and physical / psychological casualties
  • Disruption or loss of essential services, particularly transport, food, water, fuel, gas, finance, communications (all types), and education
  • Disruption to businesses
  • The potential to disrupt health care and emergency services.

What can you do?

  • Keep power company phone numbers handy, call 105 or 0800 31 63 105 (free to call from a landline or mobile phone) if you lose power
  • Sign up to the Priority Services Register if you or a family member/neighbour needs extra support during a power cut
  • Keep a torch with spare batteries
  • Take care if using candles
  • Keep a phone with a cord, as cordless phones don’t work in a power cut
  • It’s especially important if you are unwell, less mobile or very young to keep warm. Dress with layers, a hat and gloves and have blankets to hand, so you can keep warm until the power is back on. You can also reduce the heat loss by closing doors on unused rooms and closing your curtains.
  • A portable power charger for your mobile phone can be useful to have charged ready to use.

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