As part of modern society, we rely on the essential services that our infrastructure provides. In the United Kingdom, our infrastructure is made up of water, electricity, gas, oil/fuel, telecoms, transport, food, health and financial services. Without these services, the country wouldn’t be able to function on a daily basis as many parts of the infrastructure network are reliant upon several other services.

Disruption to the infrastructure could have catastrophic repercussions for the country. If you think how frustrating it is when your water is off for an hour or two while the water company work on supplies in your area, think what could happen if the water in your area was contaminated and not safe to drink. What if there was no electric? You wouldn’t be able to complete tasks such as turning on your lights, or take money out of a cash machine to pay for goods.

Preparing for Disruption

  • Know where the cut off points are for your utilities. In an emergency it may be necessary to shut off the supply to every premise in the affected area.
  • Have your emergency kit at home.
  • Outages could come with warning. If this does happen, know how to be prepared. If the water will be shut off, for example, ensure you have bottled water or fill the bath with water.
  • Be alert for suspicious callers turning up at the door posing as utility workers. Always check the ID’s of visitors before allowing them in your home.

Loss of Power

A power cut in your home can cause a huge inconvenience. If you lose power, there are a couple of things you should do straight away:

  • Check your trip switch to see if it has been tripped; if it has, try to reset it.
  • Check if street lights are out and if your neighbours have lost power to see if the problem only affects your supply.
  • If your power cannot be restored and your neighbours have suffered a power loss as well, contact your electric provider who will be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take for your power supply to be restored.

If you do lose power, there are a number of steps you can take:

  • Keep your freezer door shut and your food should stay frozen for around 12 hours.
  • Turn off electrical equipment around your home, such as your television.
  • Leave a light switched on so that you know when power is restored.
  • Make sure you have charged batteries in your house to power any electrical equipment used to help health conditions.
  • Have a wind-up torch easily accessible.