Power cuts

A power cut doesn’t happen every day, but if it did, would you be ready?

Power cuts can be caused by a number of things: severe weather (e.g. storms); accidental damage; network faults; or malicious attacks. Failures can be local, regional or national and can have significant impacts on people, communities and critical services.

It can be helpful to think ahead and have a few things to hand that you might need during a power cut:

  • A torch.
  • A wind up or battery-powered radio which can be tuned into local news. Alternatively you can listen on your car radio.
  • Spare batteries.
  • Consider getting a power bank or solar charger to keep your mobile or tablet topped up.
  • If possible, have an analogue phone that can be connected in your house, as this will still work if a power cut impacts the mobile network.
  • Warm clothes and blankets.
  • Non-perishable food.

Some useful tips to keep in mind  

  • If it’s a localised power cut, stay at a friend’s or relative’s until your power is back on.
  • Leave a light on so you know when your power comes back on
  • Switch off any appliances that could pose a hazard if the power comes back on when you’re not there (e.g. irons, ovens, electric fires).
  • If you get advance notice of a power cut fill a flask with hot water, ensure cupboards are stocked and make up a hot water bottle.
  • Regularly back-up work and important files on your computer/laptop.
  • Keep a mobile phone charged. Write down important phone numbers in case your phone battery runs flat.
  • Check on neighbours or family who may be more vulnerable.

Northern Powergrid has prepared lots of useful information and advice for before, during and after a power cut. Please visit their Be Prepared pages for more information.

If you – or someone you know – might need extra advice or support during a power cut, you can sign up to Northern Power grid’s Priority Services Membership 

Know your block

Every property in the UK is connected to the electricity network via a substation, which sit in different ‘blocks’. This helps electricity networks identify which part of the electricity grid your home or property is connected to. Each block is given a letter, which indicates where you are connected to the network. In the event of a longer term planned power outage, knowing your ‘block letter’ will help you find out if/when your power supply might be affected. You can find your block letter on your electricity bill or by visiting powercut105.com. More information about block letters can be found on the Powercut105 website here.