What do I need to do to prepare for possible blackouts in the UK? | The Sun

What do I need to do to prepare for possible blackouts in the UK? | The Sun

THE NATIONAL GRID announced the rollout blackouts might need to take place across the UK if Brits don't reduce the amount of energy they use.

The winter times might see us spend some time without electricity and that is why here we tell you what you need to prepare for a possible blackout.

Why could the UK face rolling blackouts?

The UK's electricity supply is 40% generated from gas and most of it was imported through a flow connected to Russia.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, European countries placed several sanctions that prohibited Russian businessmen and high figures from performing transactions in banks, etc.

In response to that, Russia cut off the flow of gas to Europe, causing the energy market to go into turmoil and for bills to soar.

To tackle a loss of imports from France, Belgium and the Netherlands, there are two gigawatts of coal-fired power plants on stand-by to fire up if needed to meet demand.

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How to prepare for blackouts

The last time the UK faced blackouts was in the 1970s.

You need to make sure that you prepare some essentials, as you will be spending three hours without electricity and you never know what might happen in that time frame.

Light source

You should prepare some alternate light sources so that you wouldn't have to use the flash on your phone and use up most of your battery.

You can buy yourself a torch, either one that works with batteries or one that you can charge up ahead of the blackout.

It would be better to buy a battery-generated one because if it runs out of energy, you'll just have to change its batteries.

On the other hand, if you have a torch that your power-charge, then you cannot charge it once the battery dies if you're still in the blackout.

You can also prepare some candles, however, be careful because these may cause a fire hazard.

If you have children living in your house, it's best to avoid them and just prepare torches.

Charge your devices

Make sure to charge your phone, tablet and laptop.

It is best to buy yourself a portable charger and make sure its battery is full before the power cut so that if your phone battery dies, you can easily charge it.

It's important that you have your phone with you just in case an emergency happens or you need to keep company of someone who lives alone and has to go through the blackout by themselves.

Unplug your appliance

Unplug all your non-essential appliances ahead of the blackout.

These include TVs, computers, cookers, irons and others.

This is because once the power comes back on, the power surge might cause the appliane's circuit to fry and damage it, leaving you having to buy a new one.

Keep a list of contacts

Just in case you forget to charge your portable charger and your phone battery dies, you should prepare a list of important contact beforehand.

This is so if an emergency happens, and someone else doesn't have a certain person's number, you'll still be able to get in touch.

Prepare to get warm the old way

Winter is coming and that is why you need to make sure to prepare to keep warm the old way while you cannot turn on your heater.

We recommend preparing some blankets and thick clothes.

Some candles around can also create a more homely and warm environment.

Without energy, you won't be able to turn on your cooker to boil up a kettle and make yourself a warm drink.

That is why we recommend preparing a thermos flask with some tea or hot chocolate to help you keep warm throughout the blackout.

Prepare some non-refrigirator food

During a blackout, you shouldn't open your fridge freezer.

Food can last in the fridge freezer without power for up to four hours if the doors are never open.

Since the blackouts will last three hours, then the food in your fridge freezer should be saved.

Just in case you get hungry during the blackout, you should think ahead and buy some snacks or some food that you don't need to refrigerate.

Also, during blackout times, try to reduce how much refrigerated food you buy, so just in case some of it goes bag, you wouldn't have to get rid of most of it and waste money in the process.

Prepare a first aid kit

Just in case it's needed, it's best if you keep a first aid kit around.

What you need to prepare in it, according to the NHS website, is:

  • plasters
  • gauze dressings
  • at least two sterile eyes dressings
  • bandages
  • safety pins
  • disposable gloves
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • alcohol-free cleansing wipes
  • sticky tape
  • thermometer
  • skin rash cream
  • cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings
  • antiseptic cream
  • painkillers such as paracetamol
  • antihistamine cream or tablets
  • distilled water for cleaning wounds
  • eye wash and eye bath

Ask your doctor about medical equipment

If you have any medical equipment that you need electricity to use and turns out that you normally use it during the blackout, then let your doctor know.

He can provide you with an alternative or even tell you to use the equipment at a later time.

Get into grips with the garage

Make sure that you know how to operate the manual release of your garage, just in case you have to take your car out.

If not, you won't be able to open the door because there would be no electricity to generate the automatic release.

Keep your tank full

Make sure to fill up your car tank with fuel before a blackout.

During power cut times, petrol stations will not be working because the pumps need electricity to work.

If you urgently need to get somewhere and realise that your tank needs a refill, you won't be able to.

Keep some cash handy

Card machines do not work without electricity and you might find yourself having to buy something urgently from a shop.

That is why it is best to keep some cash handy, so you'll still be able to pay.

Think about the stairlift

If someone uses a stairlift in your home, remember that this won't work during the blackout.

You can either help them prepare to spend the blackout period in one area of the house or else you can contact your manufacturer for advice.

Remember about others

Try to check if your neighbours may need any help preparing for the power cut or during it too.

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Also, think of those people who live alone and that having to go through three hours of darkness by themselves is not the best scenario for one to be in.

If you have space, invite them over so that you can keep each other company.

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